Volunteer Story: Bill Wesling
There is always a smile and a twinkle in the eye for everyone who meets volunteer Bill Wesling. “Every day is a bright spot for me! I try to make people smile!” Having retired from the insurance industry in 2015, he and his wife relocated to Traverse City from Indiana to be close to their daughter and good medical resources for his wife of 63 years. Bill shared, “Shortly after we moved, I was looking for a job…but no one was hiring someone my age (80 years young). I was bored - I saw the sign for volunteers at The Salvation Army Community Center and came in and talked to Mary Vollink who found the perfect fit for me volunteering with the Community Meal program and Community Food Shelf.
I grew up in a difficult family situation and was fortunate to have a neighbor babysitter whose son was my age – they included me in everything. They saved me. I was not treated badly, but because of them I learned to get along with people which helped me develop a positive personality.”
That personality and perseverance served Bill well from a youngster delivering newspapers, to a job working for .30 an hour in a variety store where watching one of the successful sales people made him realize that he wanted to sell it and not unload and stock it! Following his service to our country in the National Guard he found his calling in the insurance industry.
For the past two years Bill has shared his positive personality with The Salvation Army team and individuals and families who come to The Salvation Army for community meals and services. “It is nice not to get paid - I do my volunteer job from my heart! I meet a lot of nice people and enjoy the opportunity to share lunch and friendship as well. I care about family and others,” explained Bill. “Volunteering means a lot to me, it gives me good thoughts; it is good for my mental health, it keeps me busy and gives me a sense of purpose.”