Paul Fulk: “A Humble and Wise Donor”
Paul Franklin Fulk was born on January 14, 1914, in New Market, Virginia. His home was a log cabin and he vividly recalls the frigid nights spent at the foot of his parent’s bed in order to keep warm. Paul walked 5 miles with his piece of chalk, slate board and eraser to a friend’s house whose parents drove them to their one-room schoolhouse. These memories — growing up with his loving family, beloved dog and friends — are near and dear to his heart today.
Career, Matrimony, College & Military Service
In 1937 Paul decided to move to Harrisburg with his brother where employment opportunities did not seem as limited. His persistence in checking out possibilities at A&P Food Market landed him a job; later he worked his way up to selling appliances at a “big” department store, Pomeroy’s, where he met his future wife, Margaret. Paul started taking classes through the Wharton School of Business from professors who taught in Harrisburg. An opening at Sears led to becoming manager of the stove department; again, his persistence, work ethic and assertiveness opened the door for this opportunity. Paul entered the Army in 1942 eventually being given a battlefield promotion to 2nd Lieutenant after being sent abroad including service in the Battle of the Bulge. Upon returning to the states, Paul resumed his work at Sears and continued his education graduating from Lebanon Valley College in 1957 with a degree in Business Administration.
Bethesda Donor “Extraordinaire”
Paul Fulk has maintained a frugal lifestyle, benefited from a retirement pension, and wisely invested, all of which allowed him and his wife to direct their financial resources toward those with significant needs. Paul has held a special place in his heart for the ministry of Bethesda Mission for over 30 years. When reflecting on the Lord’s blessings and protection throughout his life, Paul passionately understands the overwhelming struggles people face and believes in God working miracles to transform the lives of men and women who are guests at Bethesda Mission. Records at Bethesda Mission, dating back to the mid 1980’s, reveal that this faithful donor extraordinaire, who, along with his wife who was recently deceased, has directed $230,698 plus toward the work of this local charity; the Fulks clearly are the most prodigious and consistent individual donors in the history of the Mission. In recent years, the primary mechanism for these gifts has been charitable gift annuities.
Paul has received numerous prestigious awards for volunteering: 2000 Senior News Cumberland County Outstanding Senior Award; 2002 American Legion’s Hospital Volunteer of the Year Award; and, the 2005 Jefferson Award, from WGAL News. Paul’s approach to life’s struggles can be captured this way: when seeing a problem, his frequent statement is, “that’s not good”, and then he does something to address it; organizations have noticed and applauded his faithful service!