CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — When you hit your eighties, you probably think it’s finally time to sit back and relax. One senior citizen didn’t get that message. In fact, it’s his mission to make sure other seniors have enough to eat.
Before many of you are barely awake, one team is in meticulous motion. They’re volunteers with Family Service RSVP. They’re putting together donations for the Food for Seniors program. But the group’s director Karen Graves says there are volunteers and then there is Richard.
“He definitely has a huge heart. He loves people. He just will help you do anything you ask him to.”
Richard Nohmer is 83. He’s been part of this well oiled machine for more than a decade, many years as the coordinator.
“I’m a firm believer if you stay active, your brain active and your body active, that’s the way to go.”
But he’s not just here twice a month, packing bags. Nohmer is out and about all week long, finding more donations to make sure the sacks are overflowing.
“Yesterday we went to Walmart and packed up all the turkey roasts,” he recalled.
Extra pickups and deliveries if someone doesn’t show up. Robbie Edwards is the current coordinator and Nohmer’s girlfriend.
“I would not have been able to have done it. We, not just me, all of us, if we haven’t had his tenacity.”
That diligence means 200 senior citizens in Champaign-Urbana have groceries brought right to them. Lelah Dittman is one of them.
“He’s always willing to do something for ya. He’s really good.”
A dedication born out of his own childhood.
“My father and mother lost everything they had during the depression,” told us. “I know what it’s like to not have too much.”
Nohmer has had that giving spirit his entire life. He fostered 36 children, took in two foreign exchange students, and hosted five semi-pro baseball players playing in Danville. He says it kept him young.
“It’s amazing what you can do when you’ve got all those people around you that’s that age.”
And if you’re not that age, this angel has some advice.
“Get off your butt and do something.”
Especially for someone else.