Michael Comly, a resident of Laramie, Wyoming, responded to our requests for a story about service. Below is Michael’s story which has been edited for clarity.

Multiplying Good (MG): What is your "story of service"? How has it made a difference in your life?

"I have been giving medical care to the uninsured for 20 years and also to our hospice for the same length of time. There are many stories but the most recent is with a young man who came to our free clinic in dire need of medical care. He had many medical problems and had recently gained over 100 lbs in several months and had trouble breathing or doing anything.

I told him that he was my primary interest, and I was able to determine the cause after two visits a week apart. He needed a breathing machine, and I was able to find one and also needed oxygen and I was able to find one that was 100 miles away. I drove there and got it for him. After he received those, he was able to lose 130 lbs and was so happy and felt so much better. He said that he was considering suicide, but someone cared enough to help and was very grateful and is now working."

MG: Why do you choose to give back to others? Why is service a part of your life?

"My father was a teacher, counselor, and later principal of the high school. He was raised on a farm. My father was a kind man, and he often did work in his spare time for the elderly that lived near us and would take me along.

We had several elderly widows in our neighborhood. All of our neighborhood was inundated with multiple trees that of course dropped their leaves in the fall. One special day my father brought a bunch of boys from the high school who were supposed to be in detention. He instead had them all come on a Saturday morning and had them rake leaves for the ladies and haul them away. He felt that it was better they did something rather than sit at the school and do nothing. He also fed them lunch.

The ladies gave my father money for all the yard work, and he split it all up with the boys. He taught me a good lesson that day. Of note when he retired a lot of the boys that he had doing chores for other people instead of detention came to his retirement party. It was a very gratifying experience and I have continued that tradition. I am glad that I have a skill that people can use, and I am happy to help."

Do you have a story about your community service work? Or can you shine a spotlight on someone in your community? If so, please send us your stories so that we can share them out throughout the year and inspire each other. Writing, audio notes, and video are gladly accepted!