Henry Born, left, manager of Du Quoin Food Pantry, receives a donation from a representative of the Dy Quoin Elk's Lodge.
As manager of Du Quoin Food Pantry, Henry Born is dedicated to ensuring individuals in need receive adequate supplies of food.
“Our goals are to do our part to help ensure our residents don't go to bed on an empty stomach,” Born told SW Illinois News. “It is just unfathomable that in our nation, the greatest nation in the world, that we have children going hungry.”
Born has served as manager of Du Quoin Food Pantry for the past four years. He is responsible for the inventory of food available for clients, upkeep of the pantry and buying and procuring food.
“I totally enjoy working with folks at the pantry as we strive to fill the nutritional needs of our clients,” Born said. “When I first began working at the pantry, the clients were just a bunch of unknown faces whose needs were many. Now, the needs are still many, but they are not strangers – they are friends.”
Born has come across clients of many different ages and personalities while volunteering at the food pantry.
“Overall they seem to have some similar needs,” he said. “Needing food of course, but also needing to unload some of their emotions, experiences and frustrations. My reward? A happy client ‘ friend’ not only leaving with some necessities, but also leaving a smile and a big thank you. It just doesn't get any better than that.”
Born was born and raised in Murphysboro. He has been a resident of Du Quoin since 1971. He served in the military from 1961-64 and was stationed mainly in Germany. He received his GED while in service and later graduated from John A. Logan College with an associate's degree in accounting and business. Born worked for GTE/Verizon for 38 years, retiring 15 years ago.
“After retirement, I volunteered for a time at the Perry County Humane Society, which is also a needy and worthwhile institution for God's four-legged creatures,” Born said. “I think through the grapevine, I heard about the Food Pantry and their mission to do their part to eradicate hunger in our community. I thought, ‘That is for me.’ I was right.”
Born is a member of the Knights of Columbus, American Legion and Du Quoin Ministerial Alliance. He likes working around the house and messing around with old cars and trucks.
“When I retired 15 years ago, I planned to mostly fish and play golf,” Born said. “But apparently God had a different idea for me – volunteering. I have yet to fish or golf. Helping those in need whenever possible is what I enjoy.”