Ann Morrow Lindberg said, “To give without any reward, or any notice, has a special quality of its own.”
Today I would like to feature a lifelong volunteer. Through the years Rich Thomas has been available in so many quiet, supportive ways.
He grew up in Boys Town. He was a fine athlete, an allstar, playing football, basketball and baseball. He traveled all over the United States with Father Flannigan (that’s right the one that Spenser Tracy portrayed). He often helped care for the children smaller than himself, including his twin brothers.
This man has not done the kind of volunteering that gets you parades or medals. What he has done is serve in the Armed Forces in Korea (his first daughter was born while he was there and she was 8 months old before he saw her), work hard at the same job for many years, help create a strong, healthy family of five who have now given him nine wonderful grandkids.
Countless hours of babysitting, miles of driving people back and forth to the airport, soccer games, baseball games, to special events, to the hospital.
Rich volunteered as coach for his oldest son's 7th and 8th grade football team at St. Francis school. They won the Catholic School City Championship. His son Rick was telling him that just this week he had run into one of the men Rich had coached during those days. This man told Rick Jr. how important Rich's coaching had been to him. He said, "He believed in me when I didn't believe in myself."
The golfers at the Overland Park Golf Course where he has served as a Marshall have benefited from his quick smile, helpful tips and constant words of encouragement. An avid golfer all his life makes his tips and words of encouragement all the more meaningful.
He is 84 and right now his knees and back are giving him a bit of trouble. Keep this fine man in your thoughts and prayers. No one deserves it more, as his young nephew knows!