The Volunteer Corps has many loyal members who help improve the lives of Chicagoans through their service efforts. This round's spotlight is in honor of Marty Keil of Munster, Indiana.
Marty, how long have you been a VC member?
I have been a member of the Volunteer Corps since its inception in 2009.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of the VC?
The most rewarding aspect of the VC is knowing that we are making a difference for those who are less fortunate and are doing so with people who don't have a personal agenda or a need to be thanked for their efforts. We have built playgrounds, refurbished schools, fed the hungry, and provided for the well being of others in ways too numerous to mention. I have met countless numbers of people who generously give of themselves, expect nothing in return, and do so modestly and with a sense of humor. I am transformed by the enthusiasm of my fellow corps members. It is always a joy to reunite with so many happy faces.
What has been your most memorable moment?
We did a bicycle assembly project in the parking lot at the ballpark. After putting the brand new bicycle together, we were assigned a youngster who was designated to receive it. My oldest son, Kurt, presented the bike to the 9 or 10 year old boy. He and I were surprised and touched to discover that this was the boy's first bike and that he did not know how to ride it. I took particular pride in seeing Kurt patiently providing the young guy with his first lesson in riding a bike. We are given so much and take so much for granted.
Why should others join the VC?
There is much work to be done and so many people in need. The VC gives you an opportunity to put whatever your belief system is into action. There are no prerequisites, no secret handshakes, no dues or rites of passage and no special affiliations. Just show up and lend a hand. It gives me a restored belief in people. I see their generosity, their sense of compassion, their joy in working cooperatively with others, and their sense that all the labels that we assign to ourselves and others are meaningless when there is work to be done for those of us in need.
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