Springfield volunteer, retired veteran says helping those in need is his ‘pay back’

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

A retired Springfield man who spends his time volunteering to help children and their families says he does it to give back to those in need.

Michael Rogers volunteers at both Inside Out Youth and Eagle and Dove Academy to help distribute items to families in need.

Rogers, who was in the Army for eight years, said helping the community is his way of giving back.

“The things I’ve done... this is my pay back,” he said.

The Springfield News-Sun asked readers to nominate people – Unsung Heroes – from their communities who go above and beyond to help others, but rarely receive recognition for their work.

Rogers was nominated by Michelle Florence, who said he “always puts others before himself.”

“He has delivered food to people this entire time who could not get out during this pandemic, and anyone who needs anything he’s always lending a hand,” she said. “He is a very selfless person in my eyes... He served in Vietnam and was a POW. For everything he’s been through, he’s a very humble man.”

Rogers said he goes out into the community to get donations to help the families in Springfield.

“I go out, knock on doors at businesses to donate items,” he said. “I have good supporters and still do. My wife also helped me out for years.”

Rogers, who grew up in Tipp City but has lived in Springfield for the last 28 years, used to have his own business for a while after he got out of the Army.

“I’d go down to the senior center and find out who needed plumbing help. I’d throw in free labor and someone else would pay for the parts. I did that for several years on and off,” he said.

Due to the coronavirus, Rogers said he feels he hasn’t been able to do much this year, but that “families in need have increased tremendously due to to COVID-19.”

At Eagle and Dove Academy, Rogers said he taught for one year and then was “doing the food and cooking and going out and getting stuff for them and helping families” for about nine years. At Inside Out Youth, Rogers and the staff help host food giveaways.

“We have them as often as we have the food. In the past, we’ve done it a couple times a month. The food has gotten harder to get, but we have one about once a month,” Rogers said.


Name: Michael Rogers

Age: 70

Organization: Retired. Volunteers/works at Inside Out Youth and Eagle and Dove Academy

Hometown: Springfield

Person who inspires him and why: “I’ve had people who have been super good with me... My best friend Mike Morgan has been there for me for almost 30 years, through thick and thin, no questions asked, he’s there.”

Unsung Heroes

Throughout the holiday season, the Springfield News-Sun brings attention to Unsung Heroes — those who consistently go above and beyond in their work or aspects of their lives to care for others. To nominate someone, send name, reason for nomination, and contact information for you and the nominee to newssun@coxinc.com.

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