Good Deeds: At wife’s urging, retiree volunteers at Red Cross and elsewhere

02/23/2014 12:42 PM

08/06/2014 10:37 AM

The truth is Eli Ferris never had any intention of doing volunteer work.

“I’m not the type of person who likes to be tied down to any particular schedule,” said Ferris, 89.

But more than five years ago, his wife suggested he start.

“She insisted,” he said.

Now, he volunteers for the Kansas Food Bank, the Lord’s Diner, Red Cross, the DUI Victim Center of Kansas, Music Theatre of Wichita and Via Christi hospitals.

He began volunteering just as his wife started to get ill — and then, passed away.

“Once I got started, it was really fun,” Ferris said. “I get to meet a lot of people.

“And now, it is the joy of helping people. It is just great. I enjoy it.”

A retired Realtor, Ferris also said he volunteers because of the time he nearly died from a bleeding ulcer. Red Cross blood helped save him, he said.

Now, he helps escort people at the Red Cross as they donate life-saving blood.

“If it wasn’t for the blood, I wouldn’t be here today,” Ferris said.

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