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Adobe Acrobat Reader DC software is a PDF file viewer that can open and interact with all PDF documents. To download Adobe Acrobat Reader DC please click here.
bjs-logoPlease click on a link below for an application for the Liberty Bell Chapter, to view, renew or sign up for a BJ’s membership.
Please click here for the BJ’s flyer.Please click here for Pioneers mailing instructions for new member/renewal forms.BJ’s application for the Liberty Bell Chapter PDFNOTE: If you live in New York or New Jersey or any other state that has a tax on memberships you must include the tax in your payment.
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liberty-bell-veterans-projectOver the past several years LBC#6 – Headquarters Council has conducted bingo games and birthday celebrations for the veterans at the Philadelphia VAMC Living Center.  During the bingo games the male veterans received gift packages that contain tee and/or sweat shirts, sport caps, socks, books, playing cards, craft kits and personal care items.  Although the women veterans on many occasions are not available to participate in the games each receive a special gift package that is delivered to their rooms.  In addition, our volunteers provide birthday cakes and sorted goodies to celebrate their birthdays.

This on-going project was initiated in 2002 and continues today as one of the council’s primary military projects.  Over these many years through the coordinating efforts of our Community Service Committee (Fran Spagna, Eleanor Brown, Linda Kane-Jones, Marie Yotsko, Judy Bishop) the Council has achieved 6,081 volunteer hours; donated 7,114 gift items valued at $41,000; and has contributed through grants and monetary donations an estimated $3,800 to the center’s Recreation Therapy Department.

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reprinted from the Sussex County Post in Delaware

Telecom Pioneers answer call for those in need

20-pioneers-jay-larry-and-bob-workingGEORGETOWN — What do some telephone company employees do in retirement?

Folks like George Brower, Jay Vican, Larry Burgee, Dave Herron, Will Wical, Bob Willey and their colleagues put career trade skills to use as Telecom Pioneers – volunteers who repair “talking books” destined to serve the visually impaired and physically handicapped.

Funneled through the U.S Government’s Library of Congress, the Telecom Pioneers troubleshoot old analog and newer digital talking book players and make necessary repairs.

Devices deemed in working order are packaged and shipped – free, no postage needed for the Library of Congress – to the Public Archives in Dover. From there, they can be signed out through Delaware’s public libraries.

“We do all the books in Delaware, all of the players,” said Mr. Vican, who retired after 43 years of telephone company service.

 

20-pioneers-george-will-and-dave-workingTelephone company retirees George Brower, Will Wical and Dave Herron get to work as volunteers with the Telecom Pioneers.

“We’ve been repairing them here for about 30 years,” said Mr. Brower.

On the list are nine volunteers in the Pioneers’ Caesar Rodney Council, part of the New Vision Pioneers/Liberty Bell Chapter that is part of Telecom Pioneers of America.

Their repair shop is a niche in the Verizon Wireless complex at N. Race Street and Depot Street in Georgetown.

Tools and parts are provided.

If the task is repairing analog players, Pioneers usually meet every week. Digital player repairs are about every two weeks.

“About a year ago they switched over to the new digital ones,” said Mr. Herron. “Open one of these (analog) up and it’s full of lot of mechanical parts that always had to be adjusted and replaced. The new sets are much simpler to work on.”

“Now, the old mechanical, there wasn’t a part in there we couldn’t replace,” said Mr. Vican. “Now that we’ve gone into the electronics there are certain circuit boards that they don’t want us to work on.”

“We have a checklist we go down … to identify what the problem is. Sometimes it’s not the most obvious thing,” said Mr. Brower, chairman of the Caesar Rodney Council.

Service manuals are provided.

Intertwined with repair work is friendship and conversation.

“When you get a bunch of retired people together, we do what retired people do – we talk about our jobs,” said Mr. Vican.

Talking books span the spectrum: music, the Bible (King James version) and even a 43-hour “book” on Abraham Lincoln. Modern technology incorporates a flash drive option.

The Telecom Pioneers has a historical connection with Alexander Graham Bell, founder of the telephone.

“The Pioneers worked with Bell,” Mr. Herron said.

A non-profit charitable organization based in Denver, Telecom Pioneers of America was founded in Boston in 1911. Among its original 700-plus members: Alexander Graham Bell who received the first membership card.

Pioneer membership consists of actively employed and retired employees in the telecommunications industry. It is one of the world’s largest corporate volunteer organizations, logging millions of volunteer hours in meeting the needs of communities in the United States and Canada.

All repairs must be logged.

“Last year we repaired 370 hours with 126 sets – digital or cassette/analog. They are mostly digital now,” Mr. Brower said.

The Telecom Pioneers’ mantra is “answering the call of those in need.”

Caesar Rodney Council volunteers do more than repair talking books.

Cart-like Boss Cars were revamped for use by the physically handicapped and donated to Easter Seals in Georgetown. That project is the specialty of Pioneer Quentin Welch.

Similar carts – both electric and arm-powered – were donated to schools, including Howard T. Ennis School in Georgetown, said Mr. Wical, who is taking his turn as the council’s president.

“Most of these guys have been past presidents of the Caesar Rodney Council,” said Mr. Wical of his retired volunteer co-workers.

Locally, Pioneer fundraising activities have benefited the Food Bank, Home of Brave II, American Red Cross and The Salvation Army, among others.

Their charity, community service and work for the Library of Congress have not gone un-noticed. Several years ago, the Caesar Rodney Council received Governor’s Volunteer Award from Gov. Jack Markell.

News Editor Glenn Rolfe can be reached at grolfe@newszap.com

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action-aids-christmas-toy-projectThe Action Aids Thank You letter from the Executive Director of Action AIDS in Philadelphia, PA.

Over the past 10 years Headquarters Council has participated in the Philadelphia Action AIDS Family Christmas Program.  During this period the Council membership has donated over 1,000 toys, personal care items, house hold supplies, kitchen supplies, bedding, clothing, children books, student dictionaries and other requested specific gifts.  These items have been valued over $11,000.   This Christmas Program is coordinated by our Community Service Committee:  Fran Spagna,

pictured: Linda Kane-Jones and Jim Jones

article by: Fran Spagna – President Headquarters Council

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action-aids-xmasLiberty Bell Chapter #6 – Headquarters Council over the past several years has partnered with Action AIDS – Philadelphia in participating in their Annual Christmas Family Program.   The Action AIDS organization supports men, women and families living with or affected by HIV/AIDS, to sustain and enhance their quality of life.  Many of the clients that the agency serves are in financial need and have limited resources to provide for their families and, in particular, celebrate the holidays.

This year Headquarters Council donated 84 toys, a variety of household items, which included bath towels and cloths, dish cloths, dishes, sheets and bedding, laundry and dish detergent, buckets and an assortment of other cleaning  items.  This year’s total contribution to the agency was $1,370.

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