UNSUNG HEROES: Harvey Seidman, retirement home volunteer extraordinaire

BY JANIE ROSMAN

Harvey SeidmanWhen Harvey Seidman fails to appear at the retirement home where he volunteers three days each week, people worry about him.

“He is the true embodiment of a volunteer who expects nothing in return for his service,” Brenda J. Greenberg, director of Volunteer Services at Northern Services Group, a not-for-profit Rockland County organization, said.

The 59-year-old New City resident helps make lunch at the FountainView at College Road Café, and plays pool with one of the residents. He’s dedicated to helping others and enjoys making them smile.

“We had a pool table in my house when I was 11 to 13,” Seidman said. His mother later turned it into a laundry table, he said, and while he hadn’t played since, he cues the balls twice weekly with one of the residents “who really enjoys the game.”

A graduate of American University, he joined Gruntal Brokerage Firm for three years, then began trading stock on his own; after 25 years joined Discount Brokerage Firm, and then Charles Schwab.

“Since I no longer do that, I want to be active,” he said, and found his calling at FountainView in December 2012.

He “endeared himself so greatly to the residents of FountainView, the retirement community,” Greenberg said.

“It’s worked out beautifully for everyone,” Seidman said. “I make people laugh, make them happy, talk with them, keep them company, and make their lunch experience enjoyable. As a volunteer, I get a lot of joy out of helping the residents, so maybe I can cut down on their wait time, and get them what they need sooner.”

He and his wife Denise, who works with special needs children in the public school system, have two daughters. Melissa works as a chief executive of internet sales, and Stacey is studying to become an occupational therapist.