By RENEE FITE
Each volunteer has different reasons for donating his time and talent to an organization or individual in need. For Delbert Wilson, it’s also a duty.
The Hulbert business owner makes time to help with football, early breakfast preparation at the local Masonic lodge and putting out fires.
“I believe it is the duty of mankind to aid and assist each other,” said Wilson. “Sometimes, a little help is all a person needs to rise over a difficult time.”
Wilson believes volunteers help make a community stronger, and it’s a value he learned as a child.
“When I [was growing] up, neighbors and family helped each other, which sets a good example to make you want to help others,” he said.
Football first drew him in as a volunteer.
“Bill McNatt started two Paul Young football teams at Hulbert, and needed help coaching, and that’s where it all started,” Wilson said. “I started volunteering by coaching little league football and baseball at Hulbert.”
He now keeps the football statistics for Hulbert High School, something he’s enjoyed doing for about 25 years.
He’s also a member and volunteer at the Cherokee Masonic Cherokee Lodge No. 10 at Tahlequah, Bedouin Shrine at Muskogee, and Spring Valley Volunteer Fire Department, Hulbert.
When choosing which groups to volunteer with, Wilson first thinks about which activities are important to children, because of an experience or from an observed need.
“The coaching was to be involved with the youth, and having a positive influence on them was important,” Wilson said,
He became involved with the Bedouin Shrine because his daughter was a patient with the Shriners Hospital for Children for 16-1/2 years.
“I saw how their effort helped not only Shelby, but thousands of other children, and I wanted to pay back for the help we had received,” he said. “I found out to be a Shriner I had to first be a Mason, so I joined Cherokee Lodge No. 10 and found out how much they help people in Cherokee County – things like CASA, Special Olympics, Help-In-Crisis, Salvation Army, Senior Lock In, and many other people and causes.”
The Spring Valley VFW volunteering began when he was asked to help.
“A friend told me that since I worked at home and was in the fire district most of the time, the fire department could sure use me,” he said. “The Spring Valley Fire Department had just been out and saved my neighbor’s house from a grass fire that another neighbor let get out of control.”
As he watched the fire approach his neighbor’s home, Wilson had his wife call 911. He then helped fight the fire with a shovel until Spring Valley FD arrived on the scene.
“Ronnie Smith and Gordon Gambill arrived and had the fire out in no time, which saved my neighbor’s house and probably mine,” Wilson said. “I am proud to be a part of this great fire department.”
The owner and operator of Wilson’s Garage and Repair, he has called Hulbert home for 28 years.
“I love the small town and rural community way of life – neighbors helping neighbors, friends helping friends,” he said.
Wilson, a Wagoner high school graduate, moved to Hulbert after marrying his sweetheart, Rhonda, a native of Hulbert.
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