Whether he’s picking up donated food for the White Rock Center of Hope or greeting visitors to the Dallas Arboretum, Charlie Derrick can almost always be found volunteering. Known to many as “Saint Charlie,” this neighborhood resident generously shares his time and talents with several local organizations.
Since 1989, Charlie has been an integral part of the White Rock Center of Hope. Other volunteers say the question is not “What has he done?” but “What hasn’t he done?” He sorts food in the pantry, organizes the annual pancake breakfast, coordinates the Boy Scout food drive and chairs the agency’s long-range planning committee.
“When something needs to be done, Charlie is always there, unobtrusively and quietly seeing the job through,” says Mary Jane Hutchinson, a White Rock Center of Hope volunteer.
Volunteer manager Marilyn Stidham calls Charlie the heart of the Dallas Arboretum’s volunteer program. Giving more than 3,000 hours since 1988, Charlie wears many different volunteer hats. He gives tours, delivers posters, pulls weeds, hangs holiday lights and more.
Charlie’s volunteer activities also include his neighborhood Crime Watch, Volunteers In Patrol and St. John’s Episcopal Church, where he has been a member since 1960. On Sundays, Charlie delivers the church’s altar flowers to shut-ins, hospital patients and other church members in need of a friendly visit.
Charlie began volunteering while raising his family and working for Texas Utilities. When he retired in 1987, becoming a full-time volunteer seemed the natural next step.
When asked why he continues to do so much, Charlie answers, “I just got hooked on it, I suppose.”
To find out how you can volunteer for the White Rock Center of Hope, the Dallas Arboretum or more than 1100 other nonprofit agencies, call the Volunteer Center of Dallas County at 214-826-6767 or visit our website at non-profits.org.
Click to sign up for the Advocate's weekly news digest and be the first to know what’s happening in Lakewood/East Dallas.