Monday, October 25, 2004

Middletown woman fills days with service



By Janet Wetzel
Enquirer contributor

Wanda Glover doesn't have a full-time, paying job anymore. There's just no time. She's too busy volunteering for organizations all over town.

Whether she's doing outreach work for her church, Bethel AME, working to better her Middletown community or helping in the schools, Glover is always up for the challenge and eager to help.

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Wanda Glover helps Taft Accelerated Elementary School second grader Shania Purifoy with her reading.
(Enquirer photo/Thomas E. Witte)
Her caring nature didn't spring up overnight. She was born with it, and has followed her heart since she began doing missionary work as a teen.

When Glover's grown children, Jered Glover and D. Starr Crosswhite, started school, she began volunteering in class almost daily. As the children grew older, she expanded her efforts elsewhere.

As a 14-year volunteer at Middletown Community Center, Glover, 52, has helped start a computer program and taught an exercise class. She helps with workshops, overnights, holiday activities and more. Twice a week, she and Director Cecilia Thompson ferry the youth basketball team to games and pick up food monthly at Shared Harvest Foodbank and deliver it to needy senior citizens.

"Helping is just in my nature," said Glover, who cared for her ill mother for 14 years and now helps care for her mother-in-law. "I've always felt it's my mission in life to help others. God allowing me to stay healthy and support from my husband, Jerry, makes my volunteering possible."

For three years, Glover, who is working on a bachelor's degree in health and human services administration at Wilberforce University, has been chairwoman of the Middletown Second Ward Community Council, a concerned citizens group. She helps low-income senior citizens with taxes and is a mentor with The End Zone Club, a youth help group. She's active in the No Child Left Behind program at Bethel AME, which partners with schools to provide supplies for the needy students, as well as tutors and classroom readers. For 15 months, she recruited and organized workers as volunteer coordinator for Middletown's Volunteer Program.

Her latest mission is a child safety program. Mike Johnson, a consultant hired by Butler County Children's Services to start a family-centered, neighborhood approach to public child safety, said when he sought support of the Community Council, Glover was eager to help.

"She's very interested in her community. ... She takes a leadership role and is determined to see a difference in the community, especially in child well-being and child-safety issues," Johnson said.

Do you know a Hometown Hero? E-mail Janet Wetzel at jjwetzel@siscom.net, or fax to 513-755-4150.




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