Adams honored for his good work

FAIRMONT – The awards are adding up for volunteer Dick Adams, but that’s not why he spends so much of his time serving others.

“You can’t do all the good the world needs, but the world needs all the good you can do,” Adams quipped.

Fairmont Exchange Club recently announced Adams as its Book of Golden Deeds award recipient, an annual honor used to “recognise citizens whose self-sacrifice, response to duty, and other praiseworthy actions may pass unnoticed …” wrote Don Richards in a recent letter to the editor.

Adams is a quiet man, not one to draw attention to himself, but his volunteerism in the community is prolific and wide-reaching.

For his aid as a third-grade helper, he received the Friend of Education award in 2003. Then in 2005, he was named Martin County Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Year, for which he went on to place second in the state.

The accolades came after his retirement in 1999 from Telex, when Adams began spending an increasing amount of his time volunteering, but his commitment to volunteerism began in college, when a pastor asked students to consider dedicating their lives to helping others.

Adams, who has his master’s degree in Christian education, accepted the challenge, but he credits God for guiding him in his endeavors.

“I think the Holy Spirit provides me with stuff to do,” he said. “If something comes my way, I have to decide, is this something God wants me to do? And most of the time it is.”

His Christian faith is what led Adams and his wife, Millie, to southern Minnesota. In 1966, he accepted a job with United Methodist Church in Fairmont, where he has continually volunteered, even after switching employers, and into his retirement.

Here’s a list that includes some but not all of the organizations and programs Adams is serving today:

o Boy Scouts of America. Adams has volunteered with Boy Scouts for 36 years as an adult leader. He is currently unit commissioner and camp leader.

o Habitat for Humanity of Martin-Faribault Counties, as president.

o Kinship, a mentoring program through which Adams works with children, two of whom he regularly spends time with.

o CREST, a nonprofit that seeks to help senior citizens in various capacities. Adams drives people to medical appointments and helps out as needed in other ways.

o Martin County Youth for Christ, volunteering with The Lighthouse youth center and Breakfast Club, a group that meets weekly at local high schools.

o Salvation Army as a bell ringer during the Christmas season.

o Lakeview United Methodist Health Care Center as a breakfast helper.

o Hot Meals on Wheels, delivering noon meals for three different organizations.

o American Cancer Society, for which Adams is a Road to Recovery driver.

o Fox Lake 4-H Club.

o Red Cross Bloodmobile, to which he has donated blood for many years.

o Safe Walks to School, a program that calls for adult volunteers to lead groups of children to school once a week.

Adams is also a member of Early Risers Kiwanis and Ceylon Woodcarvers Club, and in the past, he volunteered as a courier for the local Mayo clinic and hospital and with the RSVP Readers Theater.

While volunteering helps others, being so active is also a benefit to Adams.

“It gets you out and around, so you don’t sit around doing nothing. I was never one to do that,” he said.

The Book of Golden Deeds award will be presented to Adams at an Exchange Club banquet 5:30 p.m. Monday at the Holiday Inn.