says work benefits county & self
It gives me a good feeling
when I wake up in the morning, said Paul Wells, a volunteer
at the Ripley County Sheriffs Office since January 2007.
I get to do something different every day.
Before coming to Ripley County, Wells worked as the director of
facility operations in the health care industry in Cincinnati
for 35 years. He tried retirement once in 2002, but he said, I
didnt like it. He left retirement to go back to work.
Then I got sick, he said. Heart problems kept him
from working for a time. When he was ready to return to the work
force, he learned that some of the medicines he was taking might
prevent him from getting a job.
Unable to tap into his pensions for several months, and with two
children still at home to take care of, the single dad was forced
to sign up for public assistance in Cincinnati. According to Wells,
the program requires the applicant to do some type of work or
volunteer every day. He found himself stuffing envelopes with
a room full of women.
But, I wanted something constructive to do, said Wells.
My goal was to take care of my kids and have a feeling of
self worth. It was suggested that Wells volunteer somewhere.
After calling local high schools and the YMCA, Wells called David
Pippin at the Ripley County Sheriffs Office, asking if there
were any volunteer positions available. It was then he learned
that the sheriffs office needed a maintenance person.
After his call, I cleared it with then Sheriff Bill Davison,
said Pippin. Initially, he (Wells) was to volunteer for
nine months, until he could receive his pensions.
Wells worked on various projects during those months. But
I got to liking it, he said. When his retirement benefits
were available, he continued to travel from Cincinnati to Versailles
to spend his time at the sheriffs office. I dont
need money, said Wells. I like helping people.
According to Wells, besides his work at the sheriffs office,
he helps to maintain the vehicles for the Indiana State Police
and the towns. He also supervises the trustees, also known as
victors, when they perform services at the fairgrounds and various
other places in the county. Victors are inmates who have committed
He (Wells) can do anything and everything, said Pippin.
He said his volunteerism has saved the county an untold amount
Working at the sheriffs office has also given Wells insight
to the work that the sheriff, deputies, and the jail employees
do on a daily basis. You become more aware of what they
do on the job, he said. It makes you more appreciative.
You dont just work for these guys, said Wells.
They are just like family. He said does not feel like
a volunteer, but rather like a regular employee who is included
in the meetings and planning sessions. It feels good to
have people to express their appreciation, too, said Wells.
He is also appreciative of the opportunity that was given to him.
Its a joy to work with Sheriff Tom Grills, said
Wells. He trusts me enough to know what Im doing.
Wells also has a sense of humor, and is known to be a practical
joker. Sometimes, the tables are turned and a joke is played on
him. I like humor. It adds joy to my life, he said.
Its better to do something nice for someone than have
someone do something nice for you, Wells said of his philosophy
of life. Pass it on.
The dedicated volunteer has no plans to stop working any time
soon. Ill be here as long as they want me, he
BETH RUMSEY PHOTO
Paul Wells, volunteer at the Ripley County Sheriff's
Office, helps to maintain the vehicles as well as other
maintenance needs in the building. Sometimes known as "007",
and always known as a practical joker, Wells is a pleasure
to be around, according to Captain David Pippin. "He's
always laughing and smiling. He lights up a room,"