Liverpool volunteer recognized as Onondaga Senior of the Year
By Mary Beth Roach
You were selected as the Onondaga County Senior of the Year. What was your reaction when you got that news?
Totally dumbfounded. It wasn’t anything I had any idea of. I was not aware that my name had been submitted.
Your name was submitted by the officials at Hospice of Central New York. How long have you been volunteering at hospice?
What are your some of your responsibilities?
Whatever they need me to do. Basically, my job here is to take care of the supplies that come in for the nurses and make sure that they’re put away correctly. But sometimes they have mailings, and I do those. And I help out with the programs that they have. Sometimes at night they have a special program for people who have lost loved ones, and I usually come in and help with that.
What prompted you to volunteer with hospice?
When my husband was ill, the last months, hospice came in and they were a great help to me. And I have a very good friend who came here. Her husband died two years before mine, and she insisted I had to come here, so she even brought me the paperwork to fill out. I have learned so much. It’s been a blessing to me to have this place to come. I’ve met such nice people, just caring and loving people.
Do you volunteer any other place?
Beaver Lake Nature Center has been my most. I have 10,500 hours that I’ve given them over the years. I’m still going off and on to WCNY [Central New York’s member-supported public media]. I’ve done the Rescue Mission, for a while I volunteered at one of the stores. They’re wonderful people to work with.
What have you done at Beaver Lake?
I retired on July 1, and I still go back when they have special events. My first introduction to it was being a room mother, and I took the kids there. I’ve been there about 25-30 years, off and on. We had always taken our kids there on weekends to walk. When I had more time, I continued to go there after my husband passed on, and that was very pleasant to me. I love the outdoors. It’s extremely peaceful. And I had some wonderful people that I worked with. The last five years, another girl and I decided we could manage the gift shop voluntarily, so that’s what I did for the last five years. And I loved it.
What is it about volunteering that you enjoy?
I think we all need to feel being needed. And I think volunteering is one way that I get that. And other people that I know have felt the same way. I think we’re put on this earth to help others. I was brought up that way. It’s the only way that I have of giving out of myself. I think that’s very important.