Volunteerism is nothing new to Clyde and Lucille Bittner.
The couple, who lives near the Pleasant Park area, is well known in the City of Jeannette for the help they have provided for their neighbors over the years.
Clyde Bittner is a minister and volunteers his services at various nursing homes in the area. He can also be seen helping Maj. Kathleen Waddell on various projects at the Salvation Army and, as a volunteer, he manages the Jeannette Farm Market.
Lucille Bittner is as much a staple as the food at the Grace United Church of Christ food pantry on Second Street. For years she has volunteered her time and also delivered food to shut-ins and elderly residents.
She assists in cooking at the Salvation Army Thanksgiving and Easter dinners, provides meals for many of the city’s elderly residents. Some meals are delivered, but some residents visit the Salvation Army and share dinner.
“Lucille and Clyde are two of the most committed volunteers I have met. They do so much for our community, their friends, and people they don’t even know. What a blessing they are,” said Waddell, commanding officer at the Jeannette Salvation Army.
This year being recognized around the neighborhood is not the only place the Bittners will be known. The couple was nominated by Jeannette Salvation Army Women’s Auxiliary member Diana Gray for the AARP State Andrus Award for Community Service.
“I never expected to get this. I had no idea,” said Lucille Bittner.
“I was totally shocked. We are very honored and it is very humbling. I never expected that doing something for other people would lead to this. It’s not about money, it’s about helping people. Doing that work betters me,” said Clyde Bittner.
An awards ceremony was held in Harrisburg earlier this fall.
Lucille Bittner is employed by Westmoreland Community Action (WCA) and works with the Bridges to Prosperity initiative.
“Clyde and Lucille Bittner are well deserving of the Andrus Award from AARP. They are the epitome of a volunteer,” said Tay Waltenbaugh, director of WCA. “They are always looking to help others and their community. They can never say ‘no’ and always encourage others to get involved. Our communities need more Clyde and Lucilles. Congratulations to them both and to all the people they impact.”
Clyde Bittner is employed by the Westmoreland County Blind Association, and is the chaplain for the Jeannette Lions Club.
Margie Stanislaw is a contributing writer.