A man goes above and beyond the call of duty

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - For most of his life, 60-year-old Orestes Verge has been helping others.

In 1974, a then 24-year-old Mr. Verge took on a job that most may not.

Along with raising his 4 biological children as a single parent at the time, Mr. Verge became a foster parent.

"I tell people its not what we do it's why we do it," Verge says.

Mr. Verge has been married for almost 22 years to his current wife, Constance.

The man and his wife retired form the military after 20 years of service from both the Marines and the Air Force.

Verge says big lessons were learned while in the service.  One of those lessons was giving back.

Since that time Mr. Verge and his wife have fostered more than 220 children on both a short-term and long-term basis.

Mr. Verge is currently the president of the Local Foster Parent Association.

"I'm not hustling for me [...] I'm hustling for that child that doesn't have and grew up in the projects but that doesn't mean [he] has to stay there,"Verge says.

A few years ago he opened a 24-hour daycare to help parents looking to go back to school and those with jobs that have odd hours.

Mr. Verge and his wife have also kept children for weeks while single parents had to deploy.

"The biggest thing for them is now I can go to school now I can make a little money and drop the kids off and don't have to worry about it," Verge says.

These days, Verge says giving back has been a little harder due to his wife recently finding out she has breast cancer.

Mr. Verge also says his daycare van along with his truck that an employee and family friend used were both totaled in separate accidents.

Mr. Verge says it has stopped him from being able to deliver donated furniture he has collected to raise funds for the Foster Association.

"As long as I got the strength and breath in my body lm going to do what I should be doing and helping others there's not enough people that will help,"Verge said.

Recently one of Verge's proudest moments was attending the graduation of one of his foster children from South Carolina State University with honors and a Masters Degree.

Copyright WCSC 2011.  All rights reserved.