Jim Marshall

Flexible job gives Marshall time to serve

Flexible job gives Marshall time to serve

May 18, 2009|By JULIE E. GREENE

HAGERSTOWN - When Jim Marshall retired in 2004, he asked his wife, Ann, what he was going to do with the rest of his life.

You know, after he finished taking down the Christmas tree.

"I'm kind of a type A. You can't just read all day long," Marshall said.

Enter Terri Baker, the executive director of Religious Effort to Assist and Care for the Homeless (REACH) at the time. She came to talk to Sunrise Rotary, a group Marshall had been a member of since 2000, about REACH and its need for volunteers.

Marshall jumped right in.

"I always feel that you should help out in the community you live," said Marshall, who moved to the Hagerstown area in 1984 after the Army stationed him at Fort Ritchie in Cascade.

For REACH's Faith in Action program, Marshall, 68, began driving people to medical appointments. Seven months later, he joined REACH's board of trustees, where he is vice president and set to become president in July.


He also is on REACH's crisis intervention team.

For instance, Citizens Assisting and Sheltering the Abused (CASA) might call the team when a woman is kicked out of her home with her baby and needs a place to stay.

And the police could call if a family traveling through the area runs into mechanical problems.

In either case, the team would put the people in a motel for the short term and refer them to the appropriate agency that can help them resolve their problem, Marshall said.

"I think all volunteers would say, 'What we give back is more valuable than what we put in,'" he said. "To volunteer, you don't need money, you need time."

Marshall was asked to go back to work for Nortel's government solutions arm in 2005. He works mostly at home, managing Department of Defense projects. The job allows him the flexibility to help with various community organizations.

Marshall leads Sunrise Rotary's effort to help the United Way of Washington County on its annual Day of Caring every fall. That day, hundreds of people volunteer their time to help various people and nonprofit organizations in need.

Last year, Rotary members painted the outdoor skating rink and cement structures along the grandstands at Fairgrounds Park.

Marshall also was a school mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Washington County for two years before he went back to work.

He umpired for area Little Leagues, but stopped four years ago because it was too tough on his knees.

Marshall said he probably learned to help others through church teachings when growing up, or seeing others help people.

"I just feel that there's always someone out there worse off than you," he said.

Q&A with Jim Marshall

Resides: East of Hagerstown

Occupation: Project manager for Nortel Government Solutions

Q: What is your proudest moment?

A: "When all my five children graduated from college. ... That to me is significant to have all five children go to college and graduate."

Q: Whom do you most admire, and why?

A: Aunt Shirley. "She always and to this day is looking for ways to help others, not just in her family, great-grandchildren, but others in the community, helping out in senior homes, making dozens of cookies for the high school where her son is a teacher."

Q: What is the best piece of advice you have received, and who gave it to you?

A: "It's not the amount of money you have, the amount of toys you have. Friends and family are the most important assets in life. I've probably learned that from a number of people who have mentored me in life."

Q: What is the next goal you would like to achieve?

A: "To be of sound mind and health, to be able to provide help to those that need it in the community. To continue to serve the community as best I can."

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