Light of Hope Fund/Helping Our Neighbors


09/27/2023 NVW: Richard Withers

Shortly after Richard Withers retired, he saw an advertisement in the newspaper asking for volunteers to support elderly people to stay in their homes. Richard enjoyed helping people, and he wanted to do something useful with his time, so he answered the advertisement. Years later, he is still an active volunteer with Catholic Charities’ Volunteer Services program in Ephrata.

Richard enjoys being outside and doing yard work, but he is willing to do almost anything to help a client in need. Recently, a client had a problem with a surfeit of skunks entering their home. Obviously, these guests were not welcome. So, Richard came up with a plan. He took mesh wire and used it to seal off the places where the skunks were entering under the house. It worked because the skunks left their “appreciation” by leaving a “deposit” next to the mesh wire but not entering through it.

Volunteer Services is not the only place where Richard gives his time. He and his wife, Joan, also run a clothing bank at their Seventh Day Adventist.

When the weather allows, you will find Richard and Joan setting up their large canvas tent (bought in the late 1960s but still in good condition) near Icicle at Chatter Creek. Richard enjoys the three-mile hike there, where in the summer, you can look down through a narrow gap in the rocks and see the river raging. He enjoys crossing several bridges and seeing the water and beautiful scenery on this hike. If you are ever out there camping and see an energetic couple of seniors in a vintage canvas tent, thank them for their service to our clients at Catholic Charities Serving Central Washington.

If you want to help elderly and disabled people to stay in their homes as Richard does, let us know. We can always use willing volunteers!

For more information about becoming a Catholic Charities volunteer, contact Becki Lambert at