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He gets a 'rush' out of helping

Giving is always in season for Rodger Konkle, a Union Gospel Mission volunteer who helps out five days a week. Every weekday, Konkle turns up at 7 a.m. to turn on the coffee and get ready to help out for a day of dishing out food and cleaning.

Giving is always in season for Rodger Konkle, a Union Gospel Mission volunteer who helps out five days a week.

Every weekday, Konkle turns up at 7 a.m. to turn on the coffee and get ready to help out for a day of dishing out food and cleaning.

"It gives me some purpose, and it gives me a chance to give," said Konkle, a retired government worker and recovering alcoholic who lives at the Quay. "When you don't have something to go to, that's when you pick up and you have a problem."

Konkle started volunteering at the mission after he passed by the space on Clarkson Street in downtown New West. The mission provides food and supports to those who are in need.

Konkle was new to town when he saw the mission. At the time, he was volunteering for another organization, but he decided to focus on the mission because it had more of a need, he said.

Konkle also brings along his dog, Isla, who has become a source of support for some of the mission clients, who love the dog.

"They talk to her," Konkle said. "If a person shares a problem, the problem is halved."

Some of the clients like to take 12-year-old Isla for a walk.

"They come back tired, and she's still rearing to go," Konkle said, laughing.

Konkle said his neighbours at the Quay have also been generous. When he put the call out for any extra towels for some mission clients, there was no shortage of responses.

"Next thing you know, there is a big bag of towels outside my door," he said.

The mission isn't the only way Konkle gives back. He also works for a Third World eyecare society, which takes glasses to poorer countries, and he is involved in fundraising for assistant dogs. Konkle is a giver, but if you ask him, he's the one who gets.

"I consider myself as being greedy because the more I can do for them, the more I get for myself," he said. "I tend to get an adrenalin rush from it."

nhope@royalcityrecord.com