IVC Philadelphia/South Jersey Member Profile: Peter Matthews, Delaware County Literacy Council
Not every IVC volunteer commitment ends up being virtually a second career. However, Peter Matthews’ 16 years at Delaware County Literacy Council has made him an integral part of the 32-employee nonprofit based in Chester, PA.
A 35-year veteran of the IRS, Peter first became involved with DCLC about a year and a half after his
retirement. Over the years, he has tutored almost 100 individuals, initially for English as a Second Language, and now helping people prepare for their GED. “I like direct service, working with people one-on-one. For example, I worked with a young man who needed to get his skills up in order to enter the military. One day he told me, ‘You know, you’re the only person who ever believed in me.’ I take the approach that I’m not going to give up on anyone unless they give up first.”
A skilled handyman, Peter also has found time to help with multiple projects around DCLC’s headquarters. And as if that weren’t enough, earlier this year he joined the DCLC board of directors.
What advice does Peter have for anyone thinking about becoming an IVC service corps member? “Simply try it, and see if your placement is right for you. If not, you can always move on and work with IVC to find something that might be a better fit.” He also says that the monthly meetings of Philadelphia-area IVC volunteers have been a great support: “We have people working in a variety of settings. Being with them in a spiritual setting is a good reminder that, in the end, the work we’re doing isn’t all about us. It has a much larger purpose.”