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National Volunteer Month Volunteer pays back by serving others

Clulo remembers how MOW saved his father from day-old rolls

James Clulo leaves the township hall with hot meals for several clients in Valley Falls. He is one of the many volunteers who deliver Meals on Wheels.

James Clulo leaves the township hall with hot meals for several clients in Valley Falls. He is one of the many volunteers who deliver Meals on Wheels.

 

 

Story and photo by Clarke Davis
The toughest part about volunteering for James Clulo is learning bad news about his clients.
Clulo delivers Meals on Wheels twice a week, often to as many 18 people.
One person was taken off his route last week because she had fallen and broken a leg. This client is now in a nuring home.
“It’s depressing,” Clulo said.
Volunteering is like paying back for the care he knows his father received when he grew elderly.
“My father lived in Seattle and would have lived on day-old rolls if it had not been for Meals on Wheels,” he said.
Clulo, a semi-retired teacher, was recruited for the job back in 1996 by John Todd.
“It must have been the second Tuesday of November because I was working on the election board,” he said. “I jumped at the chance to help out because I was so grateful for what it had done for my father.”
Others delivering meals then were John Hamon, Sonny Senn, and Raymond Colhouer.
“I’m the senior guy now,” he said. “They are all gone.”
The volunteer knows he’s carrying a hot meal to a person, but he is also aware that his visit is more than that. It’s also a check on their well-being.
“Over the years I’ve had to call 911 at least three, maybe four times,” he said. “I’m the only human contact for some of these people all day.”
In each case it was the local District 11 emergency medical personnel who responded — another group of volunteers on call around the clock.
“They are good at what they do and they are quick to respond,” he said.
Clulo said if he finds someone not at home or anything appears amiss, he calls Denise Coker, the local site director. If she lacks information or can’t explain, a call goes to MOW headquarters in Topeka and things start to happen quickly.
“Usually it is only because someone forget to tell us they would be gone or something unexpected came up. That’s OK,” he said. “As long as they are looked after.”
Clulo is a community-minded sort who helps out in lots of places. A Marine and Korean War veteran, he serves the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3084 by loaning out hospital equipment to anyone who needs it. In a few days he’ll be joining fellow Rotarians in cleaning the roadside ditches.
In his southwest neighborhood, he’s mostly observed walking his two dogs.
“I walk my neighbors’ dog, too,” he said. “They’re too busy.” In return they (the Lockharts) give him an abundance of doughnuts and cookies.
He’s a native of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. “We called ourselves ‘Uppers’ while those who lived downstate were trolls,” he said.
He wound up in Kansas, his mother’s home state, after the war. He made several trips west and did odd jobs but eventually settled in with the Dillons grocery chain in Wichita. He did half of his undergraduate work at Wichita State University and then finished up at Fort Hays State.
“There was a Dillons in that town, too,” he said. Now he has credits from as many as 17 different colleges and universities.
At the age of 38, Clulo took his first teaching job at Valley Falls for the 1975-76 years and stayed 20 years.
“Actually I’ve taught Highland classes longer,” he said.
He began teaching Highland Community classes nights and summers in 1982 and is still at it. This summer and fall he will have western civilization and Spanish classes to teach.
The 80-year-old said he identifies with the non-traditional students who attend his college classes.
They are, for the most part, middle age working people, but “some are nearly as old as I am,” he said.
“They’re in the health field or law enforcement and they take Spanish because they really want to know it and speak it and not just for a credit,” he said.
April is National Volunteer Month. Meals on Wheels rests on the shoulders of thousands of volunteers throughout the nation. Clulo is one of those volunteers who the communnity leans on for many chores.

by Clarke Davis
The toughest part about volunteering for James Clulo is learning bad news about his clients.
Clulo delivers Meals on Wheels twice a week, often to as many 18 people.
One person was taken off his route last week because she had fallen and broken a leg. This client is now in a nuring home.
“It’s depressing,” Clulo said.
Volunteering is like paying back for the care he knows his father received when he grew elderly.
“My father lived in Seattle and would have lived on day-old rolls if it had not been for Meals on Wheels,” he said.
Clulo, a semi-retired teacher, was recruited for the job back in 1996 by John Todd.
“It must have been the second Tuesday of November because I was working on the election board,” he said. “I jumped at the chance to help out because I was so grateful for what it had done for my father.”
Others delivering meals then were John Hamon, Sonny Senn, and Raymond Colhouer.
“I’m the senior guy now,” he said. “They are all gone.”
The volunteer knows he’s carrying a hot meal to a person, but he is also aware that his visit is more than that. It’s also a check on their well-being.
“Over the years I’ve had to call 911 at least three, maybe four times,” he said. “I’m the only human contact for some of these people all day.”
In each case it was the local District 11 emergency medical personnel who responded — another group of volunteers on call around the clock.
“They are good at what they do and they are quick to respond,” he said.
Clulo said if he finds someone not at home or anything appears amiss, he calls Denise Coker, the local site director. If she lacks information or can’t explain, a call goes to MOW headquarters in Topeka and things start to happen quickly.
“Usually it is only because someone forget to tell us they would be gone or something unexpected came up. That’s OK,” he said. “As long as they are looked after.”
Clulo is a community-minded sort who helps out in lots of places. A Marine and Korean War veteran, he serves the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3084 by loaning out hospital equipment to anyone who needs it. In a few days he’ll be joining fellow Rotarians in cleaning the roadside ditches.
In his southwest neighborhood, he’s mostly observed walking his two dogs.
“I walk my neighbors’ dog, too,” he said. “They’re too busy.” In return they (the Lockharts) give him an abundance of doughnuts and cookies.
He’s a native of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. “We called ourselves ‘Uppers’ while those who lived downstate were trolls,” he said.
He wound up in Kansas, his mother’s home state, after the war. He made several trips west and did odd jobs but eventually settled in with the Dillons grocery chain in Wichita. He did half of his undergraduate work at Wichita State University and then finished up at Fort Hays State.
“There was a Dillons in that town, too,” he said. Now he has credits from as many as 17 different colleges and universities.
At the age of 38, Clulo took his first teaching job at Valley Falls for the 1975-76 years and stayed 20 years.
“Actually I’ve taught Highland classes longer,” he said.
He began teaching Highland Community classes nights and summers in 1982 and is still at it. This summer and fall he will have western civilization and Spanish classes to teach.
The 80-year-old said he identifies with the non-traditional students who attend his college classes.
They are, for the most part, middle age working people, but “some are nearly as old as I am,” he said.
“They’re in the health field or law enforcement and they take Spanish because they really want to know it and speak it and not just for a credit,” he said.
April is National Volunteer Month. Meals on Wheels rests on the shoulders of thousands of volunteers throughout the nation. Clulo is one of those volunteers who the communnity leans on for many chores.

by Clarke Davis
The toughest part about volunteering for James Clulo is learning bad news about his clients.
Clulo delivers Meals on Wheels twice a week, often to as many 18 people.
One person was taken off his route last week because she had fallen and broken a leg. This client is now in a nuring home.
“It’s depressing,” Clulo said.
Volunteering is like paying back for the care he knows his father received when he grew elderly.
“My father lived in Seattle and would have lived on day-old rolls if it had not been for Meals on Wheels,” he said.
Clulo, a semi-retired teacher, was recruited for the job back in 1996 by John Todd.
“It must have been the second Tuesday of November because I was working on the election board,” he said. “I jumped at the chance to help out because I was so grateful for what it had done for my father.”
Others delivering meals then were John Hamon, Sonny Senn, and Raymond Colhouer.
“I’m the senior guy now,” he said. “They are all gone.”
The volunteer knows he’s carrying a hot meal to a person, but he is also aware that his visit is more than that. It’s also a check on their well-being.
“Over the years I’ve had to call 911 at least three, maybe four times,” he said. “I’m the only human contact for some of these people all day.”
In each case it was the local District 11 emergency medical personnel who responded — another group of volunteers on call around the clock.
“They are good at what they do and they are quick to respond,” he said.
Clulo said if he finds someone not at home or anything appears amiss, he calls Denise Coker, the local site director. If she lacks information or can’t explain, a call goes to MOW headquarters in Topeka and things start to happen quickly.
“Usually it is only because someone forget to tell us they would be gone or something unexpected came up. That’s OK,” he said. “As long as they are looked after.”
Clulo is a community-minded sort who helps out in lots of places. A Marine and Korean War veteran, he serves the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3084 by loaning out hospital equipment to anyone who needs it. In a few days he’ll be joining fellow Rotarians in cleaning the roadside ditches.
In his southwest neighborhood, he’s mostly observed walking his two dogs.
“I walk my neighbors’ dog, too,” he said. “They’re too busy.” In return they (the Lockharts) give him an abundance of doughnuts and cookies.
He’s a native of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. “We called ourselves ‘Uppers’ while those who lived downstate were trolls,” he said.
He wound up in Kansas, his mother’s home state, after the war. He made several trips west and did odd jobs but eventually settled in with the Dillons grocery chain in Wichita. He did half of his undergraduate work at Wichita State University and then finished up at Fort Hays State.
“There was a Dillons in that town, too,” he said. Now he has credits from as many as 17 different colleges and universities.
At the age of 38, Clulo took his first teaching job at Valley Falls for the 1975-76 years and stayed 20 years.
“Actually I’ve taught Highland classes longer,” he said.
He began teaching Highland Community classes nights and summers in 1982 and is still at it. This summer and fall he will have western civilization and Spanish classes to teach.
The 80-year-old said he identifies with the non-traditional students who attend his college classes.
They are, for the most part, middle age working people, but “some are nearly as old as I am,” he said.
“They’re in the health field or law enforcement and they take Spanish because they really want to know it and speak it and not just for a credit,” he said.
April is National Volunteer Month. Meals on Wheels rests on the shoulders of thousands of volunteers throughout the nation. Clulo is one of those volunteers who the communnity leans on for many chores.

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