Charles Lembright feels right at home at the Long Beach Food Pantry. After all, the great-grandfather has been volunteering there for more than 20 years.
Charles Lembright said "My wife worked here. She died, and I filled in for her. I work on Wednesday before noon and Friday afternoon".
Lembright's job is to fill bags with bread, cookies and other groceries for needy families. He's still going strong, even though he's on the verge of turning 100.
Lembright said "I have to do this for my health. I worked with fellas that said when I retire, I'll sit on a rocking chair with a bottle of beer, but they aren't living anymore".
Another volunteer Lola Meece said "We tell him not to carry too heavy a load, and he says I need my exercise. He's very considerate, especially he doesn't like the women to carry the heavy loads of the pantry".
Lembright still does own cooking and cleaning and loves swaying to the waltz. But he admits "I don't move like I used to".
As Lembright moves closer to the century mark, he still marvels at his longevity. Lembright said "After you're 100, I think your days are sort of counted. Yeah, I never thought I'd be 100".
Everyday, Lembright counts his blessings. He said "I thank the Lord I'm here. He's been good to me, or I wouldn't be here". And many families are no doubt thankful he's still here, too.
Mr. Lembright's 100th birthday is November 17th. There's a party for him on Saturday, November 29th. It celebration starts at 1:30 at Harper-McCaughan Elementary Cafetorium. The public is invited.