If you haven’t yet had the good fortune to meet Jim Comley, one of CLiF’s longest serving volunteers, now’s your chance!

Q. How long have you volunteered at CLiF, and how did you find your way to CLiF’s doors?

Going on 15 years; I started in the fall of 2009; Duncan posted a call for volunteers on Front Porch Forum.

Q. What is it about CLiF that has inspired you to volunteer with us for all these years?

 I taught English for 38 years, and I was impressed by the foundation’s goal of introducing kids to books and promoting reading.

Q. What do you think is the biggest improvement from the move to our new headquarters?

Lots of light and space to work, and better equipment to accomplish our tasks.

Q. Is there a memorable volunteer moment you can recount for us?

Duncan’s golden retriever, who learned how to open doors and paid us regular visits, as well as the other pets who frequent CLiF.  Also, discovering that I and two other volunteers grew up in neighboring New Jersey towns and had the same pediatricians.

Q. What do you do for fun when you’re not processing and packing up children’s books for CLiF? 

   Over the last several years I’ve  been doing a lot of genealogical research and have discovered many interesting facts about my ancestors. 

Q. Did you like reading as a kid? What were some of your favorite books? Are you a reader now? If so, what kinds of reading do you like to do? Would you recommend any recent titles you’ve read?

 I had the Uncle Wiggily series read to me, so I later gravitated to reading sets of books such as the Hardy Boys and Tom Swift novels. The Landmark Collection was/is a series of biographies (Jim Thorpe, Dwight Eisenhower), and also stories of historical events (D-Day, Surrender at Appomattox,etc.) that I enjoyed.

If I find an author I like, I usually read all his/her books (C.S. Forester, Mary Stuart, John D. MacDonald). This includes fiction as well as nonfiction, especially historical novels. Recent books include Valcour, by Jack Kelly, Resurrection Walk, by Michael Connelly, and City of Dreams, by Don Winslow

Q. What’s your favorite thing about volunteering for CLiF?

It’s good to have a place to regularly interact with like-minded people. Also, the photos of smiling kids posing with their new books, is evidence that we are contributing to a very worthy endeavor.

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CLiF has served over 350,000 children since 1998.

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