Herb Black


Oneida County Volunteer Week: American Red Cross Utica Chapter

By Cindy McNicholl

Tuesday’s featured organization is the American Red Cross Utica Chapter.

Our featured volunteer is one man who just can't sit still in his retirement.

Herb Black could be sitting at home collecting his Social Security check, but instead, he is out driving all around Central New York.

Herb volunteers for several local agencies transporting seniors to their doctor’s appointments and helping them with errands.

Herb can testify to how busy his retirement has become. He says, “Right now, I am booked up for about 10 days ahead. Sometimes, I am booked up for two weeks.”

At 77 years old, Herb is behind the wheel everyday, logging 1,200 miles a week on his car. He just couldn't spend all day inside.

Herb says, “I get under my wive’s skin. When she is trying to clean, I get in the way. Maybe I don't want to sit on the porch and rock the rest of my life.”

For the past six years, Herb has offered his services to the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.
He also drives people for the Central Association Of The Blind and takes blood from the Utica Red Cross to Syracuse. The thanks he gets from the organizations humble him.

Herb tells us, “I get a kick out of Catholic Charities. I get a ‘god bless you’. I am their token Protestant down there.”

For Herb, volunteering is a way to give back now that he has time.

He shares, “The enjoyment I get out of it is… to watch their enjoyment just to get out and away from their apartments.”

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