Heart-felt memories abound with me of people who have “stepped out” of their lives to freely give of their time and talents to others in need. I was reminded of this wonderful feature of many of the people who live amongst us when I received a call last week from a dear older client who is helping an elderly man living in a nursing home. He has come to the conclusion that he can’t go back to his home so it will soon be on the market. I spent some time on the phone with him and then went and met my client at the house to do an assessment of what would needed to be done to the home before it goes on the market. I then went back to the nursing home and visited with the elderly gentleman. What made quite an impression with me was his mentioning how much he appreciated my client helping him with taking care of his home. He said he felt guilty asking her because his daughter lived so far away and wasn’t able to come back to help him. I perked him up by saying, “She really is an angel in disguise.” Unless having been involved in helping the elderly, the general public has little or no idea how much time, planning and patience it takes out of the lives of those who choose to step out of their own circles. But I can assure you, the feeling of having done something freely for someone in need without reward is priceless. When living in the same community for so terribly many years I have seen those that pretend to want to do for others with only the idea in mind that there will be some sort of recognition; be it monetary or social. Every time I see people with hidden agendas clamoring to be on a board of a charitable organization, I bristle. It’s all for show and likely without follow-thru, or there is perhaps a personal financial gain that is being planned within that organization. I will never forget when some years ago a dear past customer asked me if I would consider being on a prominent Board here in Mason City. I said, “Normally I don’t like being on Boards but on that one I would certainly be willing to serve.” My name was submitted and I heard nothing for weeks. About two months later my past customer stopped by the office to apologize for what happened at their meeting. She said, “Evidently the Chairman had a friend that she wanted in that position and you were out-voted.” I was not so upset because I have understood for too many years the not so diplomatic processes of becoming a Board member. Even now, I prefer to have friends in need because I know they are friends indeed.