Volunteer of the Week: Richard Huntsman, of Niles

Published 9:18 am Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Richard Huntsman, of Niles, volunteers at the Niles Salvation Army and Lakeland Hospital, Niles.


How long have you been volunteering at the Salvation Army?

I started right around September of 2011, so going on four years now.

Richard Huntsman

Richard Huntsman


How did you get started there?

Truthfully, I found myself in a position where I needed help with food for a couple weeks until my disability check came in. I forced myself to go down there. They helped me and I started volunteering after that. It is something I wanted to do for a long time, but never really had the opportunity to do.

When I do this I know how people feel when they come in because I was there. It feels like I am giving something back as well with a little understanding.


What do you do there?

Right now I do a lot of odds and ends stuff. I have a few regular things I do, like pick up food when they need it, but I also help set up and tear down things when needed. In general I will do whatever they need me to do.


What do you do for the hospital?

I work the surgery waiting room once a week at Lakeland, Niles. I serve coffee and talk to people and let registration know they are there. I help take families back and forth to rooms while they are waiting for someone in recovery.


What do you enjoy about volunteering at the Salvation Army?

I just enjoy the feeling it gives me of being able to do something for somebody else.


How about at the hospital?

It is the same thing there. I decided after my last heart attack that I didn’t want to sit around and watch TV and wonder what I was going to do. It dawned on me that I wasn’t going to spend my life like that and that I would go out do things I wanted to do, like volunteer.


Why is it important to volunteer?

I think it is important to reach out to people to help them when they are in need.

Also, I think it is important for children and young adults to see there is more to life than just themselves and video games and all the stuff they are going through in their lives. There is more out there than just that. There is more they can do and more things to make them more confident and proud of themselves.


Do you know a volunteer worthy of recognition? Nominate him or her as the Voluteer of the Week by calling Craig Haupert, community editor, at (269) 687-7720, or emailing him at craig.haupert@leaderpub.com.