Residents share volunteering stories

Area residents tell us why they volunteer:

David Bell, 51, of Clovis, volunteers at the Lighthouse Mission in Clovis:

"I was in the drug and alcohol program here at one time. Now that I'm back on my feet and everything, I thought I could help out the next group of guys. Just give something back. I like helping, feeling like I'm doing something worthwhile with idle time. I help unload donations, organize things and do whatever needs to be done."

Tiffany Bruhn, 19, of Tucumcari volunteers at the Lighthouse Mission in Clovis:

"I volunteer at the Lighthouse Mission because it's a ministry that's based on God. Everything here is surrounded by God, a love for God and helping people. When I first came down here I needed a lot of God and I needed to learn to help other people and help myself. They taught me a lot, just as much as I've helped them out. I do anything from wiping the windows to serving lunch, sorting and unloading clothes, unloading trucks, emptying trash. Sometimes I help write the articles for the newsletter that comes out every month. Sometimes I help clean the bathrooms. I do a little bit of everything."

Don Mckenzie, 55, of Clovis, volunteers at the Beacon of Light recovery program in Clovis:

"I knew God has had a calling on my life since I was a little boy but I never knew understood what I was supposed to do. I used to question why am I into this? Why am I always into that? Now I know the answer. I'm here and I'm able to share my testimony with somebody and hopefully it can help them. This is God's work. Doing God's work you're able to reach out and share what's in you with somebody else. As a home supervisor I oversee five guys. They can work a full-time job. They only have to go to our services twice a week and just remain responsible as a man.

Gerald Carby, 54, of Clovis volunteers at the Beacon of Light Church in Clovis:

"I came out of being a drunk and having a bad life. I was about to die. I just didn't want to live no more until I got to know God. Volunteering here really changed my life. I'm just full of joy and peace and God's love. I'm able to share it with other people. I mainly do cleaning up here at the Beacon of Light."

Pamela Kamradt, 47, of Clovis, volunteers at the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico:

"I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1999 and I had to retire from my job at the base. I just wanted to volunteer to make up some time so my days weren't so long. I like it here. I help out where ever they need help. I just come in and help whoever needs help. If nobody needs help I'll find something to do."

Elder Cody Holm, 20, of Clovis volunteers at the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico:

"I volunteer because I think there's just so many people who have so much less than me. It helps me to think about others and think about people who are having a hard time. We teach about Jesus Christ. We believe in following his example. I do a little bit of everything. I just took out some bar codes on some donations. I also went into the freezer and made sure that everything was filled out right."

Joy L. Johnson, 48, of Portales volunteers at the Portales Dream Center:

"I volunteer here at the Dream Center because of the fellowship with the other ladies and also to give back to the community that's given so much to me. I feel very safe and loved here. Most of my work is hanging clothes."

Virginia Lucero, 75, of Portales volunteers at the Portales Dream Center:

"When I started volunteering here my husband had just passed away. One of my friends who worked here told me that this would be a good place to work and I had experience in office work. They needed somebody to help with the transitioning with the file system. I liked it and decided to stay. It's like a break from the monotony at home."

Rudy Perez, 52, from Portales volunteers at Consigning Women Angel Ministries:

"I was incarcerated. I came out and happened to come by here and just decided to volunteer. I straighten out bookshelves and help out with whatever they need help with."

Michael Marshall, 59, of part-time volunteers at Central Christian Church in Portales:

"I volunteer to pay back as a Christian, to pay back for the help I receive when I was going through hard times and to help others get through their hard times. I help distribute food to needy folks. We sometimes help people with utilities and rent when life hits them hard."

— Compiled by CNJ staff writer Benna Sayyed

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