Wiltsie dedicated to giving back

Published 9:17 pm Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Oniska Blevins | The Selma Times-Journal

Helping people is at the core of who George “Buddy” Wiltsie is. He has been volunteering with the Selma Area Food Bank for a total of 17 years and throughout those years he has provided his services and filled in wherever needed.

Wiltsie attributes his many years at the food bank to his genuine love for helping people and the admiration he has for the food bank’s current director, Jeff Harrison.

“Jeff is doing a wonderful job,” he said.

Wiltsie believes volunteerism is important because nonprofits often don’t have enough money to have a paid staff and that it also can be very rewarding.

“The most rewarding part is helping other people and knowing you’re helping people in need of food,” he said.

He said one of the easiest ways to start volunteering is to contact some of the local service organizations and ask if they need help.

“The food bank can always use volunteers, Salvation Army can use volunteers from time to time, especially during the bell ringing season,” he said.

Aside from volunteering with the food bank, Wiltsie also gives back through working with the Salvation Army, WoodmenLife, Child’s Advocacy Center, Boy Scouts and the Special Olympics.

He said as a volunteer with the Special Olympics, witnessing the smiles on the participants’ faces after they “accomplish things we take for granted everyday” is priceless.

Selma Area Food Bank director Jeff Harrison said Wiltsie brings experience, wisdom and knowledge to the food bank.

“It says a lot in this day and age when a volunteer is willing to use his time and resources to help local charities, and for him to do that is a blessing for us,” he said.

Harrison said Wiltsie is always there to fill in when needed no matter how small or large the task may be.

He said one of the most admiral things about Wiltsie is that he still finds the time and strength to volunteer and do for others even at his age. He believes that sets an example for the other volunteers and shows them how not to use age as an excuse to not give back.

“You’re never too old to volunteer,” he said. “Regardless of your physical or mental abilities you can still teach someone and share your knowledge,” he said.

The Selma Area Food Bank services people in Dallas, Marengo, Perry and Wilcox counties. Harrison said it is only because of the support of volunteers like Wiltsie and community members that the food bank is able to provide their many services.

“We survive off donations and the kindness of others so it’s a constant effort to raise funds,” he said. 

For more information about the Selma Area Food Bank volunteer opportunities or to donate to the cause visit www.selmafoodbank.com or call (334) 872-4111.