After years of work, many of them with nonprofits, Mary Ann Menting retired. But leisurely days and sleeping in weren’t in the cards. Instead, she picked up the phone, made a call and came back to work – as a volunteer at Family & Children’s Place.
She’s been a Monday-Tuesday fixture here since April, and plans to be around for a long time.
“I saw something in the paper about the agency and thought, ‘I worked with seniors for nine years before retiring, so it’s time to turn it around and work with children, because they are what it’s all about,’ ” says Mary Ann. She previously worked with Catholic Charities, where she organized nursing homes visits for volunteers, and other charities in Louisville and Southern Indiana.
Since joining the team, she has volunteered more than 260 hours of time across the organization, in Development, HANDS, FSP, FSS, the KCCAC, Intake and HR. “I do it all,” she says. Her favorite task is to enter data, because “it helps you all do your jobs better. It frees you up to do the important stuff with the kids.”
But her time also is more valuable that the assistance she provides. There’s a financial value as well. Taking the hours she has volunteered and applying a formula provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Mary Ann’s volunteerism is worth more than $6,000 to the agency – a sizeable gift of her time and talent.
She describes the work as commonplace but said, ‘I feel like I am really helping, that I am accomplishing something. I find great joy in helping with these types of tasks so that staff has more time to help children and families.”
She describes staff as friendly and appreciative, and expressed her gratitude for an opportunity to meet and chat with the president/CEO, Pam Darnall.
“She (Pam Darnall) walks around the building to see and say hi to people,” Mary Ann said. “That really meant something to me. It speaks well of the agency and of her.”
She also appreciates the family feel. “I took my birthday off, and when I came back received a beautiful card. It was very touching and meant a lot to me.”
Every staff member that works with Mary Ann describes her as a happy and hardworking individual. She truly demonstrates that “charity is not a duty but a joy (J. Sitati).”
Mary Ann admits that, “not every job is easy but if you can find the moments to smile and laugh, it really helps you enjoy the work. And I’m happy to be a part of that, to help people find the joy in their work. It’s a great experience.”
She said she plans to volunteer, “as long as you’ll have me,” adding, “I admire the work the agency does – working with children and families to help get them on the right track. People here are so dedicated, so caring, and it’s important work.
“Children are what it’s about. It’s not easy being a child these days.”
Thanks, Mary Ann, for your time and dedication, for bringing your joy to our agency!