by Tina Podboy Laughner, Volunteer & Outreach Manager
Carolyn McLaughlin has been chosen as December’s Volunteer of the Month for her years of service as a Sanford Center volunteer. Why does she volunteer? “I have the time,” she says, “A lot of people don’t. It gets me out of the house. I’ve met so many nice people and you get a good, healthy lunch!” Carolyn started coming to the Sanford Center after her husband died in 2003, first taking painting and jewelry classes, then playing cards and bingo, and eventually planning the casino trips offered by the Lumber Jacks and Jills, Sanford’s advisory board. Carolyn just recently went off the board but continues to volunteer at the Center, doing whatever job Dawn Powell, Sanford Center Director has for her. On the day we met, she was wrapping up cookies for the Michigan-Michigan State football game! She also calls bingo every Wednesday and provides a pavilion at her home for float building for the Sanford Founders Day Parade. Every year the Sanford participants enter a float in the parade. Dawn says, “Carolyn McLaughlin does everything with kindness and a welcoming attitude. She has a calming demeanor and is always willing to serve. She is great at welcoming new participants and encouraging people to join in activities. She especially loves it when the kids come for Grandparents Night and makes sure everyone has a great time. She has a great smile!!!”
Carolyn lives in Sanford surrounded by four of her seven children. Her family is very close and includes 17 grandchildren who all went through the daycare she had for 13 years! Her first job was working at Glover’s Drug Store in Midland. Currently, when she’s not at the Sanford Center, she and her daughter make crafts from nature and sell them at area craft shows.
Center volunteers assist the directors in a wide variety of duties from being a member of the Advisory Board to helping wipe tables or making coffee every day! Center volunteers care about ‘their’ center and take ownership by helping out and making it better! Activity and Dining Centers, like the Sanford Center, are gathering places for active older adults to dine together, socialize and participate in a variety of activities and special events. Other Activity and Dining Center locations include Mills (at Greater Midland North Family Center), Coleman, Greendale (at West Midland Family Center) and Trailside on Dublin Avenue. Each center has its own personality with a variety of activities and programs. A calendar of events that includes all centers is located online at https://seniorservicesmidland.org/calendar-2/.
If you are interested in Center activities, or other services, contact Senior Services at (989) 633-3700. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, call 633-3741.
Thank you, Carolyn, for your many years of service to the Sanford Center. Congratulations on being chosen as December Volunteer of the Month!
Senior Services is in need of Meals on Wheels drivers, Transportation drivers, Handyman, and Friendly Visitor volunteers. If you choose to volunteer with us, you will be embarking on a rewarding adventure that will have a huge impact on the older adults of Midland County! And you will join one of the finest groups of people we know – our experienced trusted and valued volunteers!
The Activity & Dining Centers and Seasons are always looking for any and all kinds of entertainment. Do you play an instrument? Do magic? Puppets? Call Allison if you are interested in volunteering to share your talent at our Centers and Seasons!
Visit us at www.SeniorServicesMidland.org to fill out a volunteer contact form or call Allison Rossi Utter, Volunteer and Outreach Manager at 989-633-3741.