Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A Letter From Uncle Billy When He Worked in China
"Knee How" to Governor Helen, President Bill, Sylvan, Giorgio, Andreas and all my Fellow Rotarians, here I sit after a day with the Diplomats at the American Embassy and what a day it was, I arrived with open arms, thanks to the letter I faxed to the Am. Ambassador Randt, unfortunately he is out of town on business, but after I talked with his secretary Caroline Katzin, I found out we were actually old friends as she sailed on the SS Universe ,the worlds only Floating Campus, Semester At Sea run by University of Pittsburgh, Pa. year 2000, l00 days at sea, and not only that but the Political Military Affairs Officer Paul Kreutzer was one of the Guest speakers when we docked in Hong Kong, It was like old home week back in my school days, as the conversation went on I found out he was in the middle east some years after my duties at the American Embassy in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Iran and Egypt as I worked there in l948 that was the year Israel became Palestine, as the day progressed, Dante Puradiso, Second Secretary and Political Officer said he worked for Volunteer for Israel a few years ago, I told him that I was also a Volunteer for Israel in l985,86 and 87 and I worked at Camp Julius Emmau l in the Tank Division and warehouse, well he also worked in a warehouse and we ended up knowing some of the same bosses in charge, I was also there when the Ethiopia Refugees settled in Asahkalon, worked in Kabutz and Moshov we simply could not believe this was happening , he also worked for the Peace Corps for 2 yrs.Now the Embassy Public Relations officer came by and she was in Albania during the time I was working for Bethany Christian Services Orphanage and later moved on to Kosovo as a Missionary with the Times Square Church with the World Missions ,just after the war had ended and the peace agreement was signed on clean up details Now Dante told me he was at the Embassy working during the Liberian conflict, when I told him I was working there with Mother Teresa Missionary of Charities at the Orphanage he nearly flipped, and when I told him that I was a house guest of Tony Hage , the Donald Trump of Liberia helping to re construct and rebuild \the country, Tony is a Lebanese and since I lived in the the Arab world he welcomed me as a brother, Dante is a personal friend of Tony so once again we could not believe we were living the past, Pamula McKee one of the top employees of the Salvation Army and I became friends and often would dined together at the American Embassy Cafe for the Embassy Employees we had an open invitation to drop by anytime he also new her, WHAT A STRANGE WORLD IT IS While enjoying a wonderful Lunch at the Embassy, people dropped by our table and it seemed like I was back working in the Embassy all over again. now this is a big week in Beijing it is PRS (Peoples Republic Congress) and I have not seen so many Police,and Soldiers guarding the central city, since I worked at the World Trade Center with the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen Tomorrow I will be attending the Rotary Lunch at the very elegant Kimpinski Hotel where at the last meeting there was well over l00 members, I have extended an invitation to Dante Paradiso to be my guest to the Rotary Meeting and he has excepted, the members are all big wheels and there is a great deal of contact and business conversation as this is the place to meet with the leaders in the advancement of China to day, It sure is more capitalistic than communist as I knew it when I lived under Joe Stalin working in Warsaw Poland, China is on its way to world leadership, construction every where, and business is booming, Reminds me of the l930s and how we moved on after WWII, I am sorry to say the dollar is not as strong as the British Pound, Euro or the Australian Dollar, saw the Opera the other night, and the Acrobatic Show is out of this world, bought a DVD it is that good I want to entertain all my friends with a night of China Broadway Style. I am at an Internet cafe and my time is up see you all next Tuesday looking very royal, so Billy De DRAGON MUST SIGN OFF, OH YES, I WAS ON channel TV 3 NEWS, AS THE NEWS REPORTER WAS DOING INTERVIEWS AT THE BUS STATION ON VISITING TOURISTS DURING THE Peoples Republic of China Conference. And at the Youth Hostel we have the two Reporters from Norway, and they wanted to meet and interview the USA DRAGON VISITOR as everyone calls me Uncle Billy De Dragon, that's what happens when you have LONG for a name in CHINA so now I am the Rotary Vagabond Dragon how about that closing with, WHAT A SMALL WORLD I LIVE IN, BY BY SEE YOU SOON.

Hello Hello Knee How fron XIAN. time will not permit me to give you the details, but this is one of the most unusual Volunteer Projects I have worked on in Years, educational, challenging and adventureous, I am working with China University Student Volunteers along with world wide Student Volunteers, and I might add in view of the fact that I am the oldest Volunteer they ever worked with, who has had 3 voyages with the only floating campuis SAS ,Semester At Sea , the SS Universe Shipboard education l00 days around the world sponsored by the University of Pittsburg. whitch stops at both Hongkong and Shanghai for 5 days each they all knew of the program, so I was not only in the Inn group I WAS COOL MAN COOL. i AM WORKING IN THE MORNING WITH dOWNSYNDRUM STUDENTS FROM AGE 15 TO 30 YRS at A PRIVATE PAYING SCHOOL 40 STUDENTS AND THE PARENTS PAY 250 yUAN PER MONTH INCLUDING ONE NOON MEAL AND TRAINING 8 yuan IS EQUAL TO ONE DOLLAR USA average salary is any where from 800 to l000 Yuan per month and everything is cheap by our standards, similar to the depression years when my father made l7 dollrs a week. the afternoons are spent working with student volunteers at the HISTORY MUSEUM until 4 PM back to the living quarters and the nights are free we as a team go to DISCOS, Theatre and the YHA (Youth Hostels Assn) of whitch I am a NYC Member along with ELDER HOSTELS, so I am accepted with open arms, and the guests are from all over the world, Backpacking students so I am in my second childhood. I am preparing a more detailed report for NYC Rotary for MAX and Tom. Valentine evening was celebrated at a XIAN DISCO watching girls dance around a Pole, this may be a Communist run government but it sure has taken on the look of Democratic Capotilistic society, people seem to be happy, and along with the student volunteers we are all teaching conversational chit chat. by by for now I am looking for Madam Butterfly, by the way the excersice program tomarrow I will be teching the teens the CHA CHA they all want to lear the western dance styles. so long for now the ROTARY VAGABOND/ Uncle Billy's Letter from Katrina Hello to all Rotarians,
Hello to all Rotarians,
So sorry I was unable to respond. No computers, no telephones, etc. is on working 12 to 14 hrs a day, dead tired. When I return I want to be cheered up. Attending Bay St Louis rotary noon meeting in a church with no steeple and I took a box of beef jerkies as my contribution for their lunch from Salvation Army, no desert but lots of laughs. Report of the day at the meeting unhappy with FEMA problems with insurance company and pro and con conversation as to the handling of the hurricane by the White house.
That's all for now,
Bill Delong Visits Thialand 3/13/2005

Hello to all Rotarians. I am very busy working in the villages and I might add Poverty is very high, the Medical Team I am working with is superb and the Children all seem to be happy however, they do not know a life style that is seen in the USA one American dollar buys 39 BAD and the average pay check I am told is around l50 dollars a month the village life is very run down and little electric, no bathing facilities we know of and squat toilets no paper and many flies. Food is simple lost of rice and my first experience with eating Ant eggs, not bad with jungle leaves and hot broth the Princeton should look into it as a Specialty. Tonight I am going to the 8 PM Rotary meeting they are all excited in hearing about our club, the elite live rather well and are most gracious, we have met the political leaders, business men and the Village People who are full of smiles and welcome our work with open arms Take care will see you in April Vagabond Billy, PS Andrea I had my air ticket sent to our Rotary office for Romania.
Bill Delong 4/10

Monday, May 15, 2006

  • How to Be A Volunteer and Enjoy Life, by Bill Delong In order to be a good and honest volunteer you must enjoy helping others and in doing so you will be helping yourself. At times you will be placed in very strange and upsetting environments, the rubble of Kosovo, the horror of the earthquake in Colima, Mexico, to the floods of Germany, and the sadness of both Tsunami and Katrina, and lets not forget the World Trade Center, Ground Zero. My heart goes out to all of these sad disasters that I have been involved in; however, seeing the joys and similes on the faces of the (Diabetic Camp in the Republic of Georgia), where the children are enjoying sports, arts and crafts, and lets not forget the evening dances after dinner of the Cha Cha Cha and Disco. I have also found happiness and great fellowship at the various Senior Citizen Centers around the world in Singapore, Hong Kong, England, Australia, Israel, and our own Centers, right in the U.S.A.
    Volunteers are needed in all walks of life, and in view of the fact I have been extremely lucky to enjoy good health, I found after I lost all of my immediate family and my dear Mae, as they lived to be in their 70Â’s and I have continued to reach my middle 80Â’s, I decided fight then to do the right thing, as they would have wanted me to live life to the fullest, and so the only answer to their prayers, is to Help Others, and in doing so you are helping yourself. God Bless America, and may we all continue to think young and positive, and move on to the next level.
    The following listings are the various recommended organizations I have volunteered with and their contacts as I am receiving a great many telephone calls and e mails on, How does one find out where to locate and sign up for volunteer work.
    This is a very serious question to be answered, as I have found out through investigation the Pledges of Money, goes to the request the display in their appeals for support, but disappears into the wind. In some cases, I tell the organization, I will be very happy to support your program, and will give a sizeable amount of money, but only if I can become a volunteer in your cause. And then comes the hang up, or we do not have a volunteer program, we merely help the cause we are sponsoring. Then I hang up. Thank you but no thanks.
    Read this paragraph carefully.
    Volunteer programs both in the USA and around the world, you are expected to pay all expenses, such as Airfare, food lodging, however many organizations sets up home stays which include beds and breakfast, and in some cases meals, some organizations have apartments where the bedrooms are arranged with bunk beds and meals are included, others are very much like Backpacker and Youth Hostels, you can make your own meals , it depends on the organization. There are organization that have a special rate set up at a moderate price hotels, and they supply the motor transportation to and from the area you are working in. Church organizations as well as some Hospital and Orphanages have rooms for their volunteers, such as the basement dorms, or members of the church offer guest facilities.
    Out of pocket expenses vary, airfare, room and board can run anywhere from $2,500.00, on a two week program it can vary from $2,389 plus air, up to $3,000, plus air, it all depends on the country where you are going. USA programs, usually is transportation, and it varies on what type of food and lodging is arranged. I have worked with teams of 8 to 12 people, some are sponsored students or working in the name of an organization. When I go on a project, I do it , in the name of Rotary, and the Hotel Employees and the Restaurant Union Staff as they support my Uncle BillyÂ’s Happy Dollar Fund, set up especially for volunteer work.
    On all volunteers programs at the end of the tour of duty you get a letter of thank you, or a congratulations certificate for your volunteering, along with your receipts, the IRS will accept it as a Tax Deduction for Charity.
    Volunteering in ones own state or city, does not require airfare, so you go by car, bus or subway, therefore, very little expense is involved other than your time, as I do volunteer work at the VA Medical Center Hospital NYC and some Senior Centers all locally, as well as Union programs.
    People who want to volunteer who can’t afford , the foreign third world countries, can apply to hospitals, churches, temples, and at their local City Halls as Mayor Offices have city volunteer projects and it is handled by their Public Relations office.
    Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis all have a net work of helping each other, so if one belongs to one of the organizations, it is just a matter of making contact. They are world wide, and I used them in making arrangements in Mongolia,
    Chernobyl, Mexico, Germany, China etc. YMCA and Youth Hostels in most countries have local volunteer programs, if one has time.
    Salvation Army is all over most of the world , and it is just a matter of finding out where their offices are located, Police, Fire Departments, and Hostel can furnish this information as to where they are located. In NYC it is on 14th St. and they have many volunteer programs locally and nationally, simply fill out an application and have an interview with their volunteer department.
    Not all programs I worked on are Team projects, such as Liberia, Romania, Albania, South Africa etc. They were all individually arranged however, if one wants to take a 100 day trip around the world, then SS Universe, Ship Board Education, run by the University of Pittsburgh is the experience of a life time, I took 3 voyages, 1990, 1995, and the year 2000, at all stops around the world , you can either do sightseeing or volunteer work with the students, all Seniors are Audit students, and stops in each country can vary from 3 to 5 days. Recommended adventuress seniors, they take 25 per voyage , Spring and Fall. Price varies according to cabin, contact University of Pittsburgh, Penna.
    -Cross Cultural Solutions for brochures
    Tel 1-800-380-4777
    E mail
    Usca@I-tb-I.com for brochure
    Tel 1-800-985-4864 ask for Lisa
    -Feed the Children for brochures
    Larry Jones
    1 800 627 4556
    E mail derickbrock@feedthechildren.org
    -Global Volunteers
    Teresa Iverson
    1 800 487 1074
    E mail http://www.globalvolunteers.org/
    -World Missions
    Times Square Church NYC
    Make a personal call and fill out form
    -United Nations Volunteers
    Un Volunteers
    Christiana Kalakoutis-Melas
    For Anne-Marie Bekaert
    Head, Volunteer Resources
    -Online Volunteering
    David Morrison, Press Netaid
    Sharon Capeling-Alakija, Executive Director Un Volunteers
    -Peace Corp
    1 800 424 8580

    -New York City Volunteer Expo 2006
    April 28th & 29th NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK
    Adress at Gotham Hall 36th St. and Broadway New York City
    Call 1 212 473 7875
    If all is not enough, Bill gives all his tips from working as the oldest union waiter at Shea Stadium's Diamond Club, to support volunteer programs at home and around the world. It is his life long goal to set up “Uncle Billy's Happy Dollar Fund” to help orphans and senior citizens. On September 11, 2002 the first anniversity of 911, Bill attented a memorial breakfast at the Regent Wall Street, then proceeded to Ground Zero where he laid a bouquet of Roses at the site in memory of all wait staff, espically those he personaly knew. He mourned the loss of not only their lives, but the lives of almost 3,000 people.
    He recalled what it was like to have worked in the building himself and thought as did everyone in the city of New York how lucky they were to have kept their lives and escaped this, the greatest calamity to have occurred on US soil since Pearl Harbor.
    Bill still remembers all the companies he worked for when he freelanced part time as the a temp in the towers. He stands and wonders how many people did he brush by, meet in the elevator , have cup of coffee or a brief chat with, that are now gone and says a silent prayer sending his love towards Heaven, helped of course, by the countless religious leaders at Ground Zero and around the world who prayed for World Peace.
    In fact, in the that shopping plaza one man will never be forgotten. He took the stock of sneakers from his store and tossed them into the public area instructing women with heels to dawn them so they can run swiftly to safety. We may never know all the acts of heroism that happened that day, were the union waiters giving out water to the rescue workers ? Did they help someone else live and they died? We may never know. But, this we do know, we miss them all and we will never forget them!
    Nor will we ever forget Harold Bill De Long’s Heroism heading to Ground Zero an octogenarian at the time, whe he could have been sitting home watching everything happen on TV. Instead, he was making his way full steam ahead to do what he could. Being put to work in the Salvation Army Tent, he made beds, cleaned, gave out exercise programs , but most of all he brought cheer by taking a rubber latex glove, blowing it up into a balloon and waving it as welcoming hand from NY. He gave his love.
    In 2002, Bill’s heroism was honored when the New York Post presented him with the “Ambassador's’s Medal” which was well deserved. He was also given a Senate Seat in the World Nations Congress where leaders from all over the world met to dicuss important issues. Bill’s forum is “Seniors in the workforce”. He strives to keep seniors active and as vibrant as he is.
    For his lifelong achievements, the ABI, American Biographical Institue has welcomed him into their Hall of Fame as the First Waiter in America. The entire Nation and the World welcomes and will always remember the good he shows everywhere espescialy during 911. We will never forget him and he will never be forgotten.