Wired for Service
By Lena Anthony
Volume 142, Number 5, September/October 2008, Page 4
Photo by Hector Amezcua
When Susie Glover retired from the United States Postal Service in 2004, she didn’t know what to do with herself. She had worked hard for the past 35 years, finishing out a career with the Postal Service in a senior-level public relations position. Besides her family and close friends, work was Mrs. Glover’s top priority.
“I hardly even knew my neighbors, even though we had lived on the same street for years; that’s how busy I was with work,” says the longtime resident of Granite Bay, Calif.
But the same ambition and work ethic that helped Mrs. Glover climb the ranks of the Postal Service soon kicked in, and she found a new purpose. She joined the local Rotary Club and got involved with A Touch of Understanding, a community service organization that provides disability awareness programs to Sacramento-area elementary schools.
“We set up hands-on stations to teach children what it’s like to be blind, have a prosthesis or be in a wheelchair,” she says. “We also bring in people who have disabilities to speak to the children about what they do and how they do it. It makes a really big impression on kids and helps them realize that people with disabilities are just like they are.”
In addition to helping A Touch of Understanding with in-school presentations, Mrs. Glover also serves as the organization’s assistant director—and she has big plans for the next few years. “We’re trying to make the program go statewide,” she says. To make that happen, Mrs. Glover uses the PR skills she learned at the Postal Service to spread the word about the program. She also organized the inaugural Taste of Granite Bay fundraiser benefiting A Touch of Understanding last October, and she has plans for three more fundraisers in the next two years.
“I’m busier now that I’m retired,” she says. “But it’s great, because it’s such fulfilling work. Success is about being fulfilled in life. I don’t think there is any greater feeling than looking back on your life knowing that you made a positive difference on others.”
Mrs. Glover is also involved in the Gold Trail Chapter, Roseville, Calif. After organizing a book signing for an author at the DAR Continental Congress in Washington, D.C., in 2005, Mrs. Glover was so impressed with the DAR that she wanted to join.
“When I got home I called the local chapter,” Mrs. Glover says. “It turned out that my neighbor was really involved. Now she’s our Regent and one of my best friends.”
Mrs. Glover handles public relations for the chapter and helps with fundraising. When she joined the DAR, the chapter raised about $2,000 a year. Now, it averages $10,000, which helps fund more scholarships and programs like sports leagues for disabled veterans.
“DAR is such a big part of my life now,” she says. “I honestly don’t know how I lived without it.”
Mrs. Glover learned the importance of giving back at a young age. “My parents were always involved in the community,” she says. “My dad was a logger, and even though he worked long hours every day, he still made time for community service. And he got me involved, too. He knew how important it is to learn the power of giving. We may not have had a lot of money, but we had ourselves to give.”
Mrs. Glover is trying to instill that same sense of giving in her grandson, Nicholas, who is 6 years old. “He’s a great help,” she says. “When I’m doing a mailing or putting together programs for an event, he’s really good at gluing and putting stickers on things.”
When the tasks are done, Mrs. Glover, her husband, Jim, and Nicholas focus on fun activities—like walking and riding bikes. “Anything my husband and I do with him is fun,” she says. “He’s the light of our lives.”