Despite terminal diagnosis, Lincoln man continues volunteering his time

Posted By: Bayley Bischof Channel 8 Eyewitness News 

The Center for People in Need gives out food twice a week, every week.

And twice a week, every week, Richard Crouse is there.

He’s done it for years, just because he likes what the Center is all about.

"If you’re in need this is the place to be,” Crouse said. “They don’t turn their backs. Black, white, green, whatever– we’re all the same people and if you’re hungry you’re going to get something to eat."

But a few weeks ago Crouse found out he doesn’t have a lot of time left to give.

"Maybe six, six and a half months… if that,” he said.

It’s liver cancer- terminal.

But with the time he has left… He’s spending it volunteering at the center. Twice a week. Every week for as long as he can.

I asked Crouse why– he says it’s what he does.

"We all need to work together and show a little kindness and spread a little hope,” he said.

Ashton Juarez, who works at the center for people in need, says Crouse’s volunteer work means more than he’ll ever know.

"It doesn’t stop at the food they put on the table, or the people that help through the line it really is, you get to know them as a person and as a friend,” Crouse.

She says the staff was devastated when they found out Crouse won’t always be there.

"It’s like losing a member of the family because that’s what we are," Juarez said.

A member of the family she said they won’t know what to do without.

"Not just for the lack of person that’s there, it’s gonna be the laugh that carries down the hallway and his sister coming by herself,” Juarez said. “It’s going to be filling so much more than a void on the floor."

But Crouse said it’s for his giving spirit he wants to be remembered.

"I was always a good guy in my life,” Crouse said. “You know and gaining that honor and that respect I can look over my should and a guy can say something about me– oh I know him, he’s a good guy."

Ashton told me they’re going to hang Crouse’s up in their food distribution room, so even when he can’t be there to help anymore, he’ll still be in the minds of everyone at the center for people in need.