Vital Difference Maker Pat Bub
Each summer the children from my church would attend Camp Harmony in Hooverville, PA a Church of the Brethren ministry. All year we looked forward to it. But as a share cropper, most years were lean, and some years where very lean. This particular year my family did not have the money to send me to camp. Someone from church anonymously paid for my camp fee. I will never forget how excited I was to be able to attend. I did not find out for many years that a secret person had covered my cost.
For the majority of my elementary school I went to a 1 room school house. There is one teacher that impact always stuck with me, Miss Nickel my second grade teacher. She had a special way of encouraging her students, was a positive nurturer, and helped you to always do your best. Miss Nickels planted a seed in me at an early age that I wanted to be a teacher just like her.
This desire to be a teacher stayed with me all the way through high school. Being so involved in the Church of the Brethren it was natural that I went to Juniata College when I decided to become a teacher. The best way for me to describe Juniata College at the time is a Big Family environment; people truly cared about each other. I took a job in the dining hall to help pay for my schooling and learned to balance my work and studies. Work was always so much of our home life that it was a natural part of life. In the summers, I started to work as a counselor at Camp Harmony and loved the chance to interact with children and help them experience the amazing fun I had while attending Camp Harmony. This truly was a special time in my life.
After graduating from Juniata College in 1961 with a degree in elementary education I had some options first I could return home to Indiana, Pa or strike out in a new direction in and took a teaching position that was offering a little more money back east in Neshaminy. I was ready for a new adventure outside of the farming country of western Pa. I loved teaching kindergarten and especially enjoyed working with my students and helping them blossom just like Miss Nickel did for me. Three years after starting teaching I met my husband, ?, he was an insurance agent and we met when he was assigned as my agent. ? had a beautiful daughter from his previous marriage and we became a small little family. A few years later we moved to the Souderton Area. I took a job teaching 1st Grade and we started to attend Indian Creek Church of the Brethren. Soon we got involved in many ministries at the church. This is how I first learned about Peter Becker Community. Brooke Alderfer invited me to help her sell plants for the flower show and I continued to volunteer doing this for 30 years. In 1996, I retired from teaching after 35years. Norma Grasse started to volunteer making beds at Peter Becker. In 2000, she asked me to join her so for the last 18 years every Thursday for 2 to 3 hours we volunteer making beds. I truly enjoy this relational time talking with the residents and with the other volunteers from Indian Creek. Caroline Becktel invite me to join the PBC Auxilliary before I was a resident. I joined and soon become vice-president and then served 2 years as president.
In 1980 I started to get involved with Church of the Brethren’s National Disaster Services. I felt God leading me to help the children and families displaced and uprooted by disasters. As COB work merged with the Red Cross disaster services I began volunteering through the Red Cross helping children all over the country. One of our toughest missions was working for 2 weeks around the clock response and coverage for students in NYC after 9/11. Meeting these young children’s needs comforting them, and their families and trying to be a source of stability and hope in such a trying time.
In 2009, I moved to Peter Becker Community. I have always resonated with the Mission of Peter Becker Community and the Church of the Brethren values. Some many years ago in my parent’s house and our small COB church I was taught to seize the opportunity to use your gifts and abilities to make a difference in someone else life when you are able. So throughout my time I have tried to seek out opportunities to help others through volunteering, finally assisting the benevolent fund starting before I lived at PBC through Indian Creek Church of the Brethren. I joined the Peter Becker Community Legacy Society because I wanted to help those residents who come after me just the way Ronn Moyer and others helped to lay the ground work for so much that I enjoy today.
For new residents I would share this advice with you. Get out and mingle, get to know people. Volunteering is the best way to meet new people and to build friendships. It gives you a reason to get up and get moving each day. I enjoy building and growing relationships with residents, employee, and volunteering is a great vehicle for doing this.