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Jul. 19

A Retired Mailman Re-Discovers Life at Give Kids The World

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Joe Koch

Joseph “Joe” Koch began volunteering at Give Kids The World Village (GKTW) in 1990 and to date has completed more than 20,000 hours at the “storybook” resort for children with life-threatening illnesses and their families.  A retired postman from Philadelphia, Joe is 83 years young and volunteers three times a week with the charity.  A survivor of prostate cancer and four bypass surgeries, Joe decided he wanted to give back and help others who might be fighting life altering illnesses.  Over the last 20 years, Joe has volunteered in nearly every role at Give Kids The World—from serving meals in the Gingerbread House Restaurant to operating the Enchanted Carousel to delivering daily gifts to the families. In 2004, Joe hit a milestone achievement: he volunteered more than 4,000 hours in a single year! This feat, which is unachieved by any other “GKTW Angel”, is the equivalent of working 11 hours a day for 365 days straight!  Loved by all, Joe always has a warm smile and a kind word for everyone. And, his hugs are legendary. His commitment to the volunteer program is driven by his regular interaction with the families. He enjoys taking time to learn about the families who visit our resort. His belief in the program has served as a role model for other volunteers. Joe, who became a widower in 1996, says that volunteering at Give Kids The World keeps him young and alive, stating, “Being at the Village gives me a reason to get out of bed in the morning.”

 

Joe is a 2009 recipient of the President’s Volunteer Service Award.

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