Meeting our Community's Needs - Neighbor to Neighbor

Finding Meaning in Life: Frank Goetz, volunteer & founder of PRC's computer program

I talked to close to a thousand such people. Virtually all - even those doing court appointed community service – wanted to “give back.”

“For most of my life I struggled to raise a family and make a living.  Until I was able to retire – a luxury my father and most of his generation never experienced – I had very little time, energy, and resources to give to others.  All my life my faith told me that I was ignoring the larger human family, and I felt guilty.  Then, almost magically, I found myself with Social Security, Medicare, a pension, no mortgage, and some savings.  I had “security” with a median income and time to deal with my guilt by doing some “good.”  I also had the good luck to discover People's Resource Center.

I learned two things.  First, a lot of other people also “had enough” and wanted to make the world a little better.  Many of these people were paid staff who could probably have earned more in other endeavors; their boundless energy, competence, and compassion belied their real motivation.  Most were volunteers who were retired, were still working, had working spouses, or were between jobs.  I talked to close to a thousand such people.  Virtually all - even those doing court appointed community service – wanted to “give back.”  I paid particular attention to those who continued with PRC beyond their initial assignment.

My second discovery was about motivation, mine and theirs.  It was not a response to guilt or to a sense of duty.  Rather, it was and is Joy.  The joy of immersion in the human struggle.  What Abraham Maslow calls self-actualization, I call finding meaning in life.”

In March 2013, PRC's computer program celebrated a major milestone:  distributing the 10,000th refurbished computer to a PRC client!