Long-time residents of Rowland Heights, CA, Teri and David Malkin, sit for a portrait on the bench  next to the free lending library they installed in front of their home.

Teri & David Malkin

The Volunteer Duo

Teri and David Malkin have been married for over 45 years, and they’ve been living in Rowland Heights for almost as long. Teri worked as a high school teacher; David as a social worker helping the mentally ill. But two decades ago, as Teri reached retirement age, they both looked for meaningful ways to stay active and involved in their community. First, Teri found an option at the Senior Pathfinders, a local social club for older adults. Then, they started volunteering at the Kiwanis Club of Hacienda Heights, dedicated to serving local youth. “I grew up in a family where we didn’t have much, and we had hard times,” says David. “So I had some empathy for people who were going through similar types of situations.” Teri and David are now a volunteering duo; a “two-fer,” as Teri calls it. Their days often start with Tai Chi practice in one of Rowland Heights’ parks, before they go on to volunteering stints at the Youth Science Center, their local sheriff’s Citizen Advisory Committee, the Rowland Heights Community Coordinating Council, the Sung Tien Collaboration Foundation, and helping plan Rowland Heights’ popular Buckboard Days Parade, among others. The couple is so service oriented, they’ve even installed a bench by the shuttle stop in front of their home, right next to the “Little Free Library” they’ve also put up so people can pick up a free book as they wait. “From our window, we can see the shuttle stop and people get off the shuttle, just to go to the little library, grab a book and get back on,” Teri says.