• June 17, 2019

OUR VIEW: Volunteers are lifeblood to the community - Odessa American: Our Opinion

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OUR VIEW: Volunteers are lifeblood to the community

THE POINT: So many Odessans give back to this community in huge ways and that is good for all of us.

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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2019 6:00 am

We love a good feature story about someone reaching out and helping others or doing good deeds.

Just recently we’ve featured several stories on good volunteers like many of the folks who are working at summer camps at places like the Ellen Noël Art Museum and the Permian Playhouse. Sure there are lots of paid folks working camps as well but the volunteers help fill in the gaps and can make a huge difference in young lives.

So many local organizations get by with the help of volunteers.

Places like Meals on Wheels, which feeds the elderly and homebound Monday through Friday. These great folks use their own lunch hours to deliver food to those who otherwise might go hungry. What a wonderful group of volunteers that MOW has.

Then there is Henry Clark, who went through the police academy at the age of 53 in 2002, then officially retired from the private sector in 2006 and shortly after that became a reserve deputy with the Ector County Sheriff’s Office.

The 70-year-old Clark was recently honored with a Commendation Award. Clark has spent the last four years serving as a reserve deputy at the Ector County Courthouse. He has also battled rectal cancer during this time.

“Henry has a lot of energy for his age,” Sheriff Mike Griffis said. “He did then and he does now, even though he has health issues that sometimes prohibit him from helping us out. He’s just an awesome guy.”

ECSO estimates that Clark has donated more than 1,000 hours per year as a reserve deputy.

“That badge means the world to me,” Clark said. “It’s an accomplishment that makes you feel like you completed a goal. It’s something that you set out to do and I have almost 17 years now. I want those 20 years.”

Clark is just one more example of how Odessans step up to the task when needed. Those of you who are using summer as a time to help others deserve a big thank you from all of us.

Our community is just a little bit brighter thanks to you.

Odessa, TX

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