By Christy Porter, Managing Editor
Rocky Hildebrand is willing to do whatever needs to be done when volunteering at the Licking United Community Help Center, and in many scenarios she is the only available volunteer able to do what needs to be done. Known for her ability to lift heavy weight, it is something she has also done throughout her employment career.
“I don’t know what I would do without Rocky, she’s my consistent right-hand help,” says Donnetta James, Director of the Licking United Community Help Center. “She does the heavy lifting, takes care of maintenance repairs that I would have to call someone in to do, everything from building shelves to replacing locks. These jobs are things our other volunteers usually are not able to do.”
Her position as a consistent right-hand to the help center’s director began when Reggia Ward mentioned that the center needed volunteer help. Initially she helped unload the food truck and prepare the food for distribution; some of the mixes and frozen food boxes weigh upwards of 40-pounds. That evolved to helping organize, mark and hang the donated clothing. She now helps with the distribution to recipients, which includes the Licking-addressed senior boxes of food from the Texas County Food Pantry, which are routed here for distribution to local seniors. Her personal truck is even used for hauling heavy items around the facility.
Hildebrand enjoys meeting new people at the center. She also shares the needs of the community center with those she meets outside the center, and when they are able to make donations she ensures that the donations are received at the center.
Hildebrand learned carpentry on her own and utilized the skill when shelving was needed for storage; believing in using everything possible, she used scrap lumber to make the shelves. She donates the lawn care for the center, it being right in line with her lawn mowing business, which is scheduled around the hours she’s needed at the center. Hildebrand holds yard sales at the Town & Country Supermarket parking lot four or five time a year, which also keeps her busy.
It is not unusual for James and Hildebrand to arrive by 6 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday to make sure all is ready for those they serve. The Licking United Community Center store is located at 205 Cedar Street and is open Thursday and Friday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Commodities are distributed the third Friday of each month. The center can be contacted for assistance, donations or volunteering at 573-674-4184.
Originally from Peoria, Ill., Hildebrand moved to this area with her grandparents as a one-year-old child. Her grandparents operated a kennel farm. When she was 10- or 11-years-old they moved back to Illinois; she returned to Licking in 1998. Hildebrand loves animals; Freckles, her 7-year old brindled rat terrier, is her companion and accompanies her in the truck when working or volunteering.
A person of many talents, Hildebrand believes in the community help center, supports it with her time and talent, and does everything possible to make it better; her plans are to continue doing just that.