EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE: The Volunteer Extraordinaire
WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– Volunteers are a lifeline for so many organizations. The folks at the Pleasure Island Chamber of Commerce tipped us off to someone who goes above and beyond what one may consider…volunteering.
Fundraisers, memorial services, fishing tournaments, cleaning up after firework shows….he does it all.
His name is Jim Verdon, but you can also call him a “Volunteer Extraordinaire”.
He could be laid back in retirement, but he’s not. “There are about 10-12 groups, volunteer groups, that I actually work with on a regular basis,” Jim Verdon told us. He did retire, though. He was air traffic control. He’s also a US Navy veteran. All that and still wanting to give back. “Sergeant Butler’s son who was one, one and a half at the time, dropped the brick into position,” Jim explained as he showed us Butler’s brick at the Fallen Soldier Memorial. “There wasn’t a dry eye at this memorial for the event. That’s the type of stuff we do for fallen soldiers here,” he said.
His passion is volunteering. All kinds of non-profits, but one in particular. “The organization that is near and dear to my heart is Step Up for Soldiers and always has been,” Jim said, who is also their Vice President of the organization.
President Tom Russell knows Jim’s love of volunteering all to well. “Jim was the first one to step up and say he wanted to be a part of it and be a big part of it,” Tom told us. “He’s become my right hand man, if not an equal hand. Without him I’d be in deep trouble.”
“It’s very rewarding,” Jim said as he described why he does it. “It gives you a good feeling about yourself, but more importantly, you surround yourself with great people.” And in today’s atmosphere, great people, like Jim, are a necessity. “There’s a lot of veterans coming back from Afghanistan. Some have done 5, 6, even 7 tours of duty which is unprecedented in previous wars,” Jim told us. “These guys are going to need a lot of help. We’re going to need a lot of volunteers to help them out.”
Jim says it doesn’t matter as much who you help as long as you find a way to help. “They’re(other volunteers) very positive, very energetic, they are involved in the community. These are the people you want to surround yourself with and the type I meet when volunteering.”
Spoken like a true “Volunteer Extraordinaire”. Jim Verdon….you are….Extraordinary.
For more information on how to help with Step Up for Soldiers, log on to their website here….www.stepupforsoldiers.org