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VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH: January 2018
The Hearth Community Food Pantry
John Gilbert LIVES UNITED by ”doing unto others!” as he volunteers with the Red Cross, at The Hearth Community Place Food Pantry in Dayton. United Way of the Greater Dayton Area is proud to recognize John as our Community Volunteer of the Month.
John was born in Kentucky and was chief of maintenance for Fairborn City Schools for 20 years. When his wife passed away, the pastor at the church where were services were held did not charge for them. When the church, East Dayton Christian Church, was later seeking volunteers to help with their food pantry, John laughs and says knew he could “that’s how I knew I could get even.” Five years later, John is known as The Candyman, who greets incoming guests of the pantry with a warm smile, welcoming manner and, yes, candy. He acknowledges that people are sometimes uncomfortable getting assistance and that he helps makes them feel at home. He recounts some of his rewarding experiences, including giving a lady her first boxed candy ever (“she was 73!”) and helping another terminally ill client with information about baptism. “These moments stay with you,” John says. While this is his first volunteering experience he makes the most of it – “I also bag the candy!”
Carol Gilbert, the Hearth food pantry director, says “I’m honored to be his daughter-in-law. How much he gives of himself is unbelievable! He’s just one of the most selfless people!”
United Way of the Greater Dayton Area is proud to recognize (The Candyman) John Gilbert as our Community Volunteer of the Month for January, 2018.
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