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Meet our 2019 Herald Angel

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In the spirit of the season, the Catholic Herald asked readers to nominate a volunteer who consistently goes above and beyond to help others as our first-ever “Herald Angel.” Rich Rouck, selected by our staff, is a volunteer driver for the transportation ministry at Holy Spirit Church in Annandale. 

Coordinators Mary and Richard Chobot, writing at the request of a parishioner of St. Michael Church in Annandale who had benefitted from Rouck’s service, noted that he is “a patient presence” who is “always ready to listen.” Recently, Rouck helped an older woman who had been evicted from a nursing home, they said. Rouck helped the woman get necessary services from local government and social services agencies, and get her Medicaid coverage reinstated. “You might think of him as an on-call Herald Angel — willing to go where he’s needed to do whatever needs to be done,” they wrote. 


 Q&A with Rich Rouck


What is the best part about volunteering?

I’ve been volunteering since 2017, after my wife died. We spent so much time going to doctors, and I said, a lot of people could use help going to doctors, and I’ve got a lot of practice. 

It’s being able to do something that’s really helpful to people. A lot of them don’t have family and people that care about them and it’s being able to be there and get them what they need. They’re wonderful people and it’s a real gift to be able to share this part of their lives with them. 


What would you say to encourage others to volunteer?

It allows you to give back to the world by helping other people. People are so anxious to repay me, they say, “What can I do for you?” I say, “Giving to you is my payment, being able to give to you what’s been done for me.”


How do you feel about being nominated?

I’m just so humbled and grateful that I’m having enough of an impact that makes people want to go to the trouble of doing something like this. It’s just a blessing. I’ve always had an angel in my life to help me in tough times and to have someone do something like this for me, it’s a blessing. What a nice way to elevate a kind of volunteerism that you don’t hear much about. 


Get involved in Holy Spirit Transportation Ministry


Call 703/978-8074


© Arlington Catholic Herald 2019