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Good Deeds: Boeing retiree, son find volunteering leads to learning

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Sunday, March 2, 2014, at 10:38 a.m.
  • Updated Sunday, May 18, 2014, at 12:42 p.m.

At first, Dick Rader simply wanted something to do with his extra time upon retiring from Boeing last April after 32 years.

So he and his son, Sammy, started volunteering, including at the Lord’s Diner and Botanica.

“Actually, we started volunteering at Lord’s Diner a few years ago,” Rader said. “It seemed like a good thing to do.”

They are two of more than 5,500 people who volunteer each year at the diner at Central and Broadway where people in need can come for a free evening meal.

A heart attack in 2011 helped give him a new outlook on things, Rader said.

“Once I got my stamina back, I had a different perspective on life,” he said.

Rader, 63, said his family is just him and Sammy, 20, who has Down syndrome.

“I look for activities that we can do together,” Rader said. “I take him with me.”

Soon, as warmer weather comes, they will volunteer at Botanica in the train garden.

“We get to go and play with trains,” Rader said. “Who doesn’t like that?”

In volunteering, Rader said he is learning more about life.

“I see people helping each other,” he said. “It is a good thing to do – and my son gets to experience and learn about volunteering.”

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @beccytanner.

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