This profile story about volunteer, John Tomory, is a perfect example of the diversity and one special person's passion to help the community. To find out how you can join John and the other volunteers, contacting the Friendship Centers is just a phone call away.
For more Information contact: Volunteer Development Manager, Caroline Allen 941.556.3249, email@example.com For opportunities at other county locations, call: Charlotte: 941.255.0723. DeSoto: 863.494.5965 Lee: 239.275.1881 Collier: 239.556.7425
When John Tomory and his wife of 57 years, Barbara, arrived in Venice in 2002 to retire and help his parents, he was looking for a way to combine his expertise and his love of people in a meaningful way.
He found it in the Friendship Centers Venice Small Appliance Repair Shop, where for the past 13 years he’s been helping to repair lamps, toasters, irons, and almost anything that isn’t digital. This past year he volunteered more than 400 hours.
By his own admission, he’s “a pretty handy guy,” but that’s clearly an understatement. An electrical engineer working for RCA and Admiral Corporation before retirement, he helped design TVs, traveling to Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Mexico to get them into production.
John loves the challenge of fixing things – many of which otherwise would be destined for the landfill. Twice a week he’s at the Centers’ Small Appliance Repair Shop, from 9 a.m. to noon, and he encourages people to bring him items for repair. “I’m willing to give it a try. If I can’t repair something I can usually tell what’s wrong with it,” he says.
In addition to getting your appliance fixed, you’re likely to be treated to some great stories. He loves to talk to people, and share interesting stories.
At 77, John is a second generation volunteer. His parents volunteered at the
Friendship Centers Candlelight Dining program in the 1970s when it first started at Venice High School.
The example they set led him to volunteer at the Friendship Centers when he retired. His mother is now 102, and lives in nearby Englewood.
“Volunteering is fun. It’s something I enjoy, I can’t just sit around. I like visiting with people, and I find it rewarding to be able to fix things. Volunteering gives me purpose,” he says.