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July 26, 2019
Giving Back: Dennis Babcock & Pete D’Angelo
Dennis Babcock and Pete D’Angelo have been friends for over 50 years.
“We always got along,” Dennis says. They both laugh. “Most of the time,” they say in unison. “We have the same thoughts on most things,” Dennis says, including a strong commitment to community, service, and family. They met after Dennis got out of the navy, then they married their wives, who are also friends and volunteers, on the same day in 1971. Their dedication to community service goes way back too. They were both in the Jaycees, and in the 1970s before the Food Cupboard was established they helped with a Christmas food program. Pete and Dennis began volunteering at the Food Cupboard after retiring, respectively, from banking and DuPont. They’re there most days, doing “whatever needs to be done.”
“We live in a generous community,” Pete says. “KACS welcomes all donations of food and money and volunteer time.”
The Food Cupboard provides a bridge to the next paycheck for about 400 families monthly, but it’s only one part of the holistic services that Kennett Area Community Service (KACS) and its dedicated staff provide. Lack of affordable housing, Pete and Dennis say, is one of the area’s biggest problems. “So many people work hard making minimum wage and still struggle to get by,” Dennis says. People are very appreciative, but Pete and Dennis say their biggest reward is seeing lives turned around.
“We live in a generous community,” Pete says. “KACS welcomes all donations of food and money and volunteer time.” They encourage others to join them. “When you retire,” Dennis says, “it’s not the work you miss, but the people. This keeps me busy, involved, and meeting people.” He quotes a line from the Jaycee Creed: “service to humanity is the best work of life.” Both men agree that sums it up well.