Advocacy impelled by the Golden Rule

An interview with Tom Smith, director of public policy for the Ohio Council of Churches

Many Years Ago , Tom Smith faced a family crisis that changed the way he thought about his work. His wife was recovering from an illness and had to relearn ordinary activity. Tom was her teacher. At the time, he had a three-year-old and an eighteen-month-old to care for on top of his work. He says, "God was there for me giving me some kind of strength I didn't believe I could have. I had to repay [this] debt, reach out to those who can't take care of themselves."

This debt of service guided him through eighteen years of working for the Ohio Senate—six of those years as Senate clerk and chief of staff—and five years working for the state treasurer, Mary Ellen Withrow (now United States Treasurer). It didn't stop there, however. After he retired, he saw an ad for the director of public policy for the Ohio Council of Churches. "In my own way," he says, "I felt it was a calling."

Valuing today
October 11, 1999

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