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Congrats to our amazing volunteer, Fred Cornelious for all your hard work and dedication to supporting our homeless families with children. You, good sir, are our July Volunteer Spotlight of the Month for Family Promise!
Fred is a recently trained volunteer at Family Promise. However, with all the hours he has served our organization you would think he’d been a volunteer for ages!
Fred is not only a volunteer for Family Promise, but for our local Gallatin Valley Food Bank. Every week, he brings the food bank truck by our Day Center to help us stock our center with yummy food. Along with Fred’s weekly deliveries, he is usually the first to volunteer to help a family when they are ready to move into their new home. This is an incredible help to our staff and families on moving day. Fred will show up with his truck and work gloves ready to tackle any moving project!
Recently, Fred and past Board President Ray Ross hauled nearly 3,000 pounds of trash to the dump using a U-Haul truck from a donated trailer. Now that the trailer is “junk free” one of our families in our program is working on restoring the trailer for their future home. When warned of the condition of the trailer, Fred simply said, “that’s fine, what time can I be there to help?”
Thank you, Fred for your willingness to help our program in anyway. We are grateful for your enthusiasm and smile!
Now, let’s learn a little more about Fred!
Fred Cornelious: Teacher, 35 years, Los Angeles Unified School District.
How long have you been volunteering for Family Promise and how did you get involved?
I first attended training in Spring 2011.
Why do you volunteer?
As a public employee, I “drank at the public trough,” so to speak, so now it’s time to give something back. Patricia, my wife of 35 years, and I, have been blessed with many opportunities to travel and enjoy life. Chasing a golf ball or a fish has limited appeal for me. I want to be involved in something that is going to make a difference.
What is your favorite part of volunteering for Family Promise?
I really enjoy working with families as they prepare to move into their homes. They are so excited about finally having their own space. Their enthusiasm is contagious. They show great appreciation for something that I take for granted. And I’m living a dream if I can enjoy doing the things no one else wants to do.
Do you have any favorite memories from your time serving Family Promise?
I haven’t been involved long enough to have a favorite memory yet. But ‘things’ really get the way of life, don’t they? A few years ago, while mucking and gutting houses in New Orleans, after Katrina, it occurred to me that almost everything we desire, own, work for, pay for, clean, polish, insure, and lock up….will one day end up in a landfill. I can’t name one thing I own that will be important to anyone in the year 2061. How important can it really be if it’s going to the landfill?
Do you belong to a congregation or are you an unaffiliated volunteer?
Patricia and I are members of Bozeman United Methodist Church.
Do you have any kids and/or pets?
We have about 2,000 children, varying in ages from about 10 to 40. It’s a joy when a student you haven’t seen in decades finds you on Facebook and tells you how they are doing, and something they remember from class in the 1970s or 1980s.
From looking at you, no one would guess that…..I’m hoping to keep using my antique cell phone until the Smithsonian wants to put it on display.
Favorite place to eat:
Patricia and I really enjoy eating in campgrounds or picnic areas.
What’s on your book shelf?
I recently enjoyed The Help, by Kathryn Stockett, The Wal-Mart Effect, by Charles Fishman, and Palestine: Peace, Not Apartheid, by James E. Carter.
Who’s your hero?
I admire people who go to work day after day and get the job done, but no one notices them.
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