Albemarle Volunteers: Retiree is Salvation Army’s top volunteer

By Robert Kelly - Goss

The Daily Advance

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Richard Cobb’s wife Pam has been on staff with the Salvation Army for 21 years as the agency’s bookkeeper. So when he retired from civil service with the Coast Guard after 41 years, it might have seemed logical to donate more of his time there.

Cobb had been volunteering some, but nothing like he does now.

“I’m there almost every day for an hour or two in the morning and some days longer than that,” said Cobb, who was named the local Salvation Army’s Volunteer of the Year in February. “I do whatever needs to be done.”

Last year Cobb did whatever needed to be done, 255 days in the year, for a total of 388 hours.

He explained that he’s a sort of all-around volunteer, going wherever he is needed on any given day. However, much of his time is spent working in the administration office, located on Hughes Boulevard.

He began volunteering at the Salvation Army 10 years ago. It was during the Christmas season. The Salvation Army was conducting its annual Red Kettle Drive.

His job back then was to count the money, bag it up and take it to the bank.

“That was almost an everyday thing for five weeks,” said Cobb.

Then after retirement, he would be there a couple of hours a day, helping his wife with her paperwork.

Cobb said he enjoys giving his time to the Salvation Army. He feels a certain amount of “self-satisfaction” from it, knowing that “there is a need for the work the Salvation Army does.”

The work the Salvation Army does in the community is considered by many to be invaluable.

Locally, the Army aims to help people with basic needs such as paying rent or utilities, prescriptions for seniors, food through its food pantry, clothing and emergency aid. When a family is displaced due to a fire or other disasters, The Salvation Army provides them with shelter, clothing and food.

Much of the money raised for these needs is done so during the holiday season. The Red Kettle Drive where Cobb began his volunteerism rings in a majority of the money it takes to operate the charitable organization.

And one way they keep their costs down is to rely on volunteers such as Cobb.

“Volunteers play a primary role to get that work done,” Cobb said.

He says if people are sitting at home, watching television, they could get up and volunteer. He said the Salvation Army is always in need of volunteers.

“It’s a good way to set the tone for the day,” said Cobb. “You feel like you’ve done something for someone else.”

For information about volunteering at The Salvation Army call 252-338-6780.

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