In this new profile of Board member, John Counsell, it's another great example of one of the many common denominators that bind all of the Friendship Centers' staff, Board members and volunteers. It's their passion for commitment and family values. As John wrote about why he got involved...
"I missed the interaction with the generation before mine. Both Jan (John's wife) and I had been raised by parents who taught strong family principals consisting of looking out for one another, always being there when needed and providing for, where possible."
There are so many events coming up this fall at each Friendship Center Campus. If you're not already involved, here's your chance to meet some of these dedicated people yourself and learn how Friendship Centers are all about "People Helping People".
Additionally, I had visited SFC’s Sarasota campus, met Brother William Geenen and was immediately impressed with Senior Friendship Centers’ mission and its founder. Brother Bill and I were immediately comfortable with each other having Notre Dame as a common thread.
As history will show, the timing for a capital campaign for anything in Southwest Florida in the ’06-’07 economy was doomed. However, as I learned more about the amount and depth of services performed daily by staff and hundreds of enthusiastic volunteers for the Friendship Centers I willingly agreed to join the Board of Governors.
I saw my involvement filling a void in my life. My wife of 47 years, Jan, and I had lost both sets of parents more than 20 years prior. I missed the interaction with the generation before mine. Both Jan and I had been raised by parents who taught strong family principals consisting of looking out for one another, always being there when needed and providing for where possible.
I see these exact principals being exercised every day at Friendship Centers, Friendship neighborhood dinning sites, Friendship Health Clinics, on the phone by Friendship Case Workers and Friendship at Home volunteers, by our Friendship Food Delivery drivers and Friendship Food Bag Delivery volunteers to name a few.
I am now in my sixth year (3rd term) on the Board of Governors, serving in a key position as Vice-Chairman, and continually finding ways to give back to many wonderful aging people who are happy to be able to remain independent in their home, condo or apartment because of what we do.
I am a doer more than I am a thinker, so I’m probably more “hands-on” than most board members of a non-profit. I deliver food. I organize alumni groups to do the same. I attend as many events, join as many committees and talk to as many people as I can about the work of the Friendship Centers.
The growing number of people living into their mid to late 70’s, 80’s and even now their 90’ is incredible, yet really happening, so we must step-up and do what we can to allow people to enjoy their life to the very end.
About John Counsell
John Counsell serves as the Vice Chair for the Friendship Centers’ Board of Governors. A graduate of Notre Dame University and professional baseball player for the Minnesota Twins, John wrapped a career in the insurance field recently so he could spend more time with his grandchildren, travel and help the Friendship Centers’.