Bismarck, N.D. (KXNET) — “Here are some of the items I have to check, refurbish, clean and make sure they all work properly,” Francis Miller, volunteer at Seeds of Hope, explained.

Francis Miller spends a lot of his time these days volunteering at Seeds of Hope, working alongside others who share his passion for helping others, but his story really begins in 1975 when he moved from California to North Dakota.

 “I fell in love with North Dakota because of the weather and the people,” Francis shared.

He got a job, went back to school, and earned a degree in power plant technology.

After working at a local refinery for 23 years, he decided to retire, but that was brief.

He soon became a college associate professor at BSC, where not only did he teach, but continued to learn.

“I had an old horse-trader friend of mine, who suggested that the day we stopped learning, we’re no longer of value to ourselves, or anyone else. And I think he’s right about that,” Francis agreed.

And learning, in addition to his hours of volunteering, is what Francis continues to do after retiring from his second career.

“It afforded me an opportunity to revisit some of my lifelong love affairs, like with painting artwork,” Francis said.

Another passion?

Writing mystery novels and even a cookbook after noticing how many students lacked culinary skills.

“I think God put us on Earth to do his work,” Francis reflected. “And so as long as we are physically able, we have a responsibility to him and to ourselves to instruct and guide and teach younger folks I know, and older folks too.”

He puts all of his skills to work these days by volunteering at Seeds of Hope.

” I have the job of the dream because I check toys, electronic toys that come in, and make sure that they work well,” Francis shared. “And that’s kind of good because I’m in my second childhood now.”

And his work and positive attitude are appreciated by many, including Hailey Nantt, the store holiday lead.

“It’s just great to have a volunteer that can come in with such a great attitude, be humble, and be able to do all those kinds of wonderful things for us here that is needed,” Hailey shared.

While he works anywhere he’s needed, Francis spends a majority of his time in the Christmas Area.

The reason?

“One of my hangups in life was I hated to drag out all the Christmas stuff, the lights and Christmas tree and things like that to put up and stuff,” Francis explained. “And so, my dear Lord is presented me with an opportunity to be more comfortable with Christmas lights and Christmas things.”

But more than becoming comfortable with lights, for Francis, it’s all about the cause.

“Our clientele are deserving, wonderful people from all walks of life,” Francis said. “And they deserve to be able to purchase quality merchandise.”

Francis Miller, a life-long learner, teacher, and volunteer, is Someone You Should Know.

If you would like to volunteer at Seeds of Hope and work with others as positive as Francis, call the Volunteer Coordinator at (701) 222-8370 or email