Service over self

Nonprofit director helps homeless families get back on their feet

By Nancy Price

Bob Goodrum has a servant’s heart, one that is unlimited to various populations he’s helped over the years. Whether assisting young men aging out of the foster system, providing new programs for senior citizens, or helping the homeless, the Center Grove resident has worn many hats.

Goodrum is currently the executive director of WellSpring in Martinsville. The nonprofit provides shelter and supportive services for the homeless in Morgan County.

“I really enjoy helping families to set their own goals and achieve them,” he said. “Each family we serve is different, so there is no cookie-cutter approach. Seeing them leave our shelter and move into their own home is very gratifying.”

Goodrum also served as an executive director for The Social of Greenwood, which provides services and programs to seniors living in the greater Greenwood area.

“I am pleased to see (The Social) grow and serve older adults in our community. I especially enjoyed the people the most. Listening to their stories of service to our country and community, about their children and grandchildren and about how life has changed through the decades is still memorable,” he said.

Goodrum, who has lived in the Greenwood area for more than 40 years, resides in Smokey Row Estates with his wife, Jennifer and their children: Bailey, who will be a freshman at Greenwood Christian Academy, and Kaitlyn, who will attend IUPUI in the fall.

In his spare time, he enjoys collecting 8-ounce bottles of Coke from around the world.

What is your greatest virtue?

Faith – in the hand of an unseen God and in the handshake of my fellow man.

What upsets you?

That our society has lost the ability to disagree agreeably. It seems as if we can no longer have a civil discussion on any topic without it resulting in name calling and personal attacks. Chivalry may not be dead, but civility seems to be.

What do you like best about Center Grove?

The people in CG, even if they are strangers, feel like friends.

What’s your favorite Southside eatery?

La Trattoria: the staff is very friendly, the steaks are well-prepared and their fungo ripieno appetizer is amazing.

If you had to live anywhere else in the Metro Indianapolis area, where would it be?

I am very content living where I do, but if I were to move, it would be within Greenwood city limits to pursue some political ambitions.

If you could begin life over, what would you change?

Nothing, all of my experiences, both positive and negative, have made me the man I am today. As someone much wiser than me stated, “Play the hand you were dealt like it was the hand you wanted.”

If money were no issue, how would you spend it?

I would open a homeless shelter in Johnson County and then take my family to Disney to celebrate. To see the most vulnerable in our community being housed would for me be like winning the Super Bowl.

What makes you happiest?

Seeing others succeed and reach their full potential. Being a cheerleader for those attaining their personal best makes me smile inside and out.

Pick three adjectives that best describe you.

I asked my wife and two daughters to each name one. They came up with passionate, detailed and proactive. I guess I owe them all a nice dinner.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Aruba. I went there a number of years ago and it’s still my favorite destination other than home. The food, the sand, the people – all memorable.

What do you do with idle time?

If I ever find idle time, I’ll let you know.

What would you change about our culture if you could?

I wish folk were not so easily offended. It seems every word and every action is overly scrutinized today.

How do you escape from reality?

I watch reruns of Perry Mason and those on We TV channel.

What do you love most in life?

Serving: a life of self-service and self-interest has never interested me. I find great joy in serving others and that the acronym JOY (Jesus, Others, Yourself) is true.

Which living person in Center Grove do you most admire?

I am fortunate to have many mentors in my life. The three that have made the biggest impact are Harold Thomas, Bob Crosby and Chuck Ashley. These men have selflessly poured their lives into mine and for it I am much a much better husband, father and man.

What quality do you admire most in another person?

Integrity; without it nothing else really matters.

What is your greatest extravagance?

I really don’t have any, but if I had to pick it might be crazy socks and a hotdog from Happy Jack.

What is your greatest fear?

Failure to fulfill my passion, which I describe as the thing I go to bed praying about, the thing that I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about and the thing I get up in the morning being about.

What has been the happiest time of your life? Besides my salvation, the birth of my two daughters and my wedding.

Is there a special talent you really wish you had?

I really wish I could sing. I can’t carry a tune in a bucket; I am sure those who sit around me in church wish the same for me.

What do you most value in your friends?

Honesty; to tell me the truth and the courage to say it even though they know I won’t like it.

Which historical figure do you most admire?

Jesus; He saved my soul and changed my life.

What tenet do you live by?

He who risks much, gains much. I would rather go down swinging for the fences, then strike out trying to lay down a bunt.

What would people be surprised to learn about you?

That I am really an extroverted introvert. I prefer to be behind the camera than in front of it, but my positons through the years have mandated a more personal persona than which I am naturally comfortable.