Volunteer Bob Kridler has a long list of charities and nonprofits he supports, so it wasn’t surprising that there was a long line of admirers there to cheer him on when he was “belled” on Friday, Feb. 6.
“I’m speechless,” a smiling Kridler said, as Ben’s Bells founder Jeannette Maré gave him a handmade bell, a symbol of connection and the myriad ways recipients spread kindness throughout the community. In Kridler’s case, he donates his time serving mobile meals and sitting on the foster care review board, as well as assisting his church and Casa Maria Free Kitchen. He also volunteers at Tucson Medical Center, where he is involved with Seniors Helping Seniors, a program in which volunteers offer companionship and one-on-one support to older adults in the community.
“The care you put into this community ripples out in ways you can’t possibly know,” Maré said.
TMC Senior Services coordinator Anne Morrison, one of about 40 in attendance, said Kridler has made a difference already for a Vietnam vet who had few social connections. “He’s just one of the kindest men I’ve ever met,” Morrison said. “He has such a big heart and just wants to make the lives of others better, regardless of who or when or where.”
His pastor, Gayle Bintliff of Tanque Verde Lutheran Church, agreed. “He just does everything with the heart of a servant,” said Bintliff, who has served as lead pastor for the past 3 years. “He has so much compassion and kindness, that he is always ready to do anything he can to help someone else.”
Kridler will be featured on the MIXfm and KGUN on Feb. 13, as well as the Arizona Daily Star on Feb. 17.