Some people are just born to serve.
Count Diane Ulrich — 35 year Wyckoff resident — among that esteemed group of people, whose big and decidedly unselfish hearts lead them to places like soup kitchens, hospitals and even the .
After all, Good Samaritan Ulrich has been dedicating her time by delivering books to the for the last 20 years. Once a month, the longtime member of the Friends of the Wyckoff Library packs up her car and visits the CHCC with carts full of books, books on tape, and even CDs for the elderly residents who want their fiction fix but can no longer see.
“She’s a dynamo, a true library champion,” said Beth Wharton, president of the Friends of the Wyckoff Library. “Diane has been delivering large-print books to the CHCC for decades."
Some of the nursing home residents want the books, but others treasure something different.
“Some of them are voracious readers,” said Ulrich. “And some of them just want to talk once a month, which is okay too.”
After 20-plus years of service, Ulrich is finally getting her day in the sun.
“The longevity and dedication Diane has for the library is phenomenal,” said Wharton. “She’s just one of those people you want to have in your town.”
The Friends of the Wyckoff Library will be recognizing Diane and all of their volunteers at a reception on Sept. 6 in the Monroe Room at the library at 7 p.m. The reception will also serve as a meet and greet for new recruits, which the Friends are always on the hunt for.
In fact, it’s the first time the library was able to accommodate such an event, because they never really had space.
“The library was getting overcrowded and running out of room, but we saved money for over 10 years and that went towards the ,” said Ulrich. “The , after being closed for 15 months.”
Three other people deliver books to the CHCC with Ulrich, and two new volunteers have gotten involved since the library’s used book sale. They have about 10 volunteers total, but they still need more according to Wharton.
“It’s not a large group of people,” she said. “We’re hoping to get some new people and new faces to show up.”
Children can get involved, too, although delivering books to the nursing home is better suited for a more mature audience.
“Yes, kids can do it, but probably with their parents,” said Wharton. “It’s not for little kids, more for middle-school kids or teens in high school who can better understand what goes on in a nursing home.”
Besides delivering books, the Friends of the Wyckoff Library run a variety of programs and volunteer opportunities. They offer book groups, adult and children’s programs, a museum pass program, newsletters, and a gigantic book sale once a year. In the past, they’ve held music programs and poetry contests.
“Long ago, the volunteers would even take trips into the city to museums together, but now people are busy and have to work,” said Ulrich.
If you’ve ever wanted to volunteer and simply don’t know how to get started, or just want to meet new friends, you’re welcome and encouraged to attend the reception, according to Wharton.
“We can guide them to an area where they can volunteer,” said Wharton.
If you do go, take a cue from Ulrich, the local volunteering legend, and maybe even thank her for her outstanding service for the past 20 years.
“She deserves any kind of kudos she can get,” said Wharton.
Have a question or news tip? Contact editor Joseph M. Gerace at Joseph.Gerace@patch.com, or find us on Facebook and Twitter. For news straight to your inbox every morning, sign up for our daily newsletter.