NewsPositively Hampton Roads


People Taking Action: Retired Marine Corps veteran is now serving in a different way!

Posted at 6:14 PM, May 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-01 18:14:05-04

VIRGINIA BEACH,  Va. - Joined by the principal and a couple of teachers, we're walking down the hallways on our way to surprise a special volunteer at Woodstock Elementary School.

But - as I'm about to find out - maybe "surprise" is not the right word, because as we approached Charles "Bud" Richardson I asked him if he had any idea what was going on.

"Yes, sir, I do - I'm astute. I watch TV news. I watch your news station. I see you guys giving awards for people doing good things," he said.

And that's why first grade teacher Sonia Lacewell sent News 3 an email.

"We couldn't think of anyone more deserving to get the People Taking Action award than you," Sonia read.

This is why: Monday through Friday for four hours a day, you'll find the retired 77-year-old Marine Corps veteran in the school helping students with their reading. This is his 10th year volunteering at Woodstock. And Sonia point out, it's more than helping them reading.

"You love to make connections with the children and build relationships. I hear you asking about their weekend; if they learned how to tie their shoes. You encourage them when they learn some new words," she continued.

And for that reason, News 3 presented Richardson with a People Taking Action award along with a $300 Visa gift card from our community partner, Southern Bank. Richardson was very thankful.

"Well I'm impressed about that. Very good!" Richardson exclaimed.

I asked why it's important for him to be such a dedicated volunteer over so many years.

"Keeps me young. I'd be bored out of my mind if i didn't. If I didn't do this, where would I be? I'd be sitting in a bar somewhere or some porch doing something, making myself miserable.  And this way I come out and do something good for the community," he told us.

Woodstock's principal Amy Hedrick is grateful he does.

"He just means the world to us. The children see him as a leader. He's everybody's grandfather here at Woodstock Elementary School," Amy said.