Davison lends a hand as volunteer for REACH

December 07, 2005|by JANET HEIM

Editor's note - There are a lot of people you see around town that you recognize, but don't know anything about. People like ...

Linn S. Davison Jr.

Age - 44.

Occupation - Information Technology Specialist with the U.S. Department of Treasury.

Hometown - Hagerstown.

Where would you see Davison? Davison, who works in Martinsburg, W.Va., became involved with the REACH cold weather shelter in 2000 when his pastor encouraged church members to take a more active role in the community. The cold weather shelter program offers a warm, safe place for adult men and women to stay from late October through April.

A saying that hangs at Davison's desk at work sums up his philosophy - "It takes a thousand hands to rebuild a human being."


"That's what motivates me. If I can be two of those hands ..." said Davison, who began by helping with the lunch program at his church, Grace United Methodist Church, and has taken on more responsibility each year.

Davison recently became a board member, is one of three members of the Cold Weather Shelter Leadership Team and volunteers for all three of REACH's volunteer outreach programs. He continues to serve as coordinator for the shelter the week his church volunteers to staff it.

As coordinator, Davison arrives Monday through Saturday by 4:30 p.m. and Sunday by 1 p.m. to help get things set up. He credits two men from his church, Ken Peters and Ray Reedy, for being his "right and left hands" when he coordinates.

Davison helps with the evening meal and oversees the arrival of shelter guests for the evening, then heads home by 11 p.m. after the overnight volunteers arrive. He's back at 6 a.m. to help with breakfast, cleanup, laundry or whatever else needs to be done.

The Hagerstown native is a 1979 graduate of South Hagerstown High School, graduated from Hagerstown Junior College and took computer classes at Shepherd College.

Davison said he feels God has been guiding him toward the shelter ministry.

In 2003, Davison signed up for the overnight shift on Christmas Eve because it was hard to find volunteers. He has helped on Christmas Day since, offering companionship to shelter guests who didn't have family to spend the day with.

Davison said the time between Christmas Eve and New Year's is the hardest time to schedule, but said somehow, volunteers always come through in the end.

"We have so many great volunteers," Davison said. "... I'm just so blessed to be part of it."

Davison said it's rewarding when shelter guests get jobs, find their own places to live, get married and have families. Some return to volunteer.

"It has made me appreciate home more," said Davison, who lives in Greenwich Park, a development on the east side of Hagerstown.

Hobbies - "I really don't have time for anything else. If I can catch a football game, I'm tickled," Davison said. "This (volunteering for REACH) is pretty much what I have dedicated myself to. I just want to be able to help as many people."

What does Davison like best about Washington County? - Davison likes the change of seasons, the snow and the mountains.

"I'm content," he said.

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