Volunteering – Another form of Generosity

girl and pkgBy Betty Schlickman

The following are frequently asked questions about volunteering we have heard or maybe asked ourselves at some time in life:


How can I help?

What does it mean to volunteer?

Is there anything I can do for you?

Can I volunteer?

People from all walks of life can identify with the service of volunteerism. It is a service freely shared with mankind for the good of mankind. It is all-inclusive—countless numbers of people volunteer and thousands of people become recipients of the benefits of these generous contributions. What a smooth-running, peaceful world we would have if each of us volunteered in some small way. The return benefits are countless.

Kentwood resident and Kentwood Police volunteer, Betty Schlickman (center), stays in touch with her community and friends on the job.


I have been a Kentwood resident for 42 years. My husband, Tom, and I decided upon retirement to volunteer some of our time with our own city. We found that our talents could be used effectively with the city’s police department. I firmly believe that we all have a responsibility to do the right thing so that all citizens can enjoy the safety and freedom that is rightfully ours. We attended classes in the VIPS (Volunteers in Police Service) program and after passing several hours of training in the classroom and on the road, we were ready to take the helm. Handicap parking places are frequently checked to assure that these designated places are available for those who need them. Parking in a handicap parking spot without a valid placard or a plate is not permissible. We also assist the police department in seeing that our neighborhood’s codes are being followed. Parking on the grass in a front yard, blocking sidewalks with cars, posting signs in the right of way (the area between the sidewalk and the street), are just a few situations that create a great inconvenience to other citizens.


Contrary to comments expressed by some residents, we, as volunteers, are not trying to meet a quota or earn extra pocket money. We are volunteers—there is no pay. We simply want to contribute our time so that life can run a little more smoothly in our community from day to day. Driving through Kentwood neighborhoods lets our residents know that we care about our community. We are thanked consistently for our service and we reassure our citizens that the law enforcement in Kentwood is available for their needs. Volunteering is an opportunity to be a part of something much bigger than oneself. I, for one, am proud to be a resident and a volunteer of the Kentwood Police Department.

For more information about volunteering with the Kentwood Police Department, contact Leslie Montgomery at 611-656-6571 or email montgomery@ci.kentwood.mi.us