ao MAKING A DIFFERENCE TUESDAY, MAY 1,2001 Relst peeks through the screen to see If Pam Van Boxtel Is home, before delivering a Meals on Wheels package. A knock. ma. and a smile Delivering meals, library booM couple's way of helping others, TOP: Relst delivers books to Ruth Fuller. Relst has been delivering books for five years. RIGHT: Gordon and Mary Relst work in a demonstration garden. The pair spend ISO hours a year volunteering for the Master Gardener program. PHOTO STORY BY KELLY GLASSCOCK T he doorbell rings. Mary Reist peeks through the screen door. She's holding a brown paper bag and a hot plate of food. It's time for lunch. For the past 20 years, Mary Reist has been delivering meals to homebound Salina residents as a volunteer for the Meals on Wheels program. After picking up the meals from the Penn Campus of Salina Regional Health Center at 11a.m., Mary and her husband, Gordon, deliver lunches to seven people. "It's so easy on our part, and it lets people stay at home," Reist said. Meals on Wheels officials said that "I don't know what I would do without them; they're always willing to help." - Kim Rothe, Meals on Wheels coordinator More than 150 Meets on Wheels lunches ate delivered each day by Relst and others. more than 150 lunches are delivered to Salina residenjs every day by volunteers. j "They are wonderful human beings and great * volunteers," said Kim Rothe, Meals on Wheels coordinator. "1 don't know what 1 would do without them. They're always willing to help." Mary, 69, and Gordon, 73, have lived in Salina for the past 31 years. Meals on Wheels is not the only agency that the pair helps. f For the past 15 years, Mary has delivered books tow people unable to get to the library. m And, for the past five years, Mary has traveled to IS Lindsborg once a week to be a volunteer archivist at !S the Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery. She also serves^ on the board of directors of the gallery. ^ When needed, Mary and Gordon also Volunteer lar the Reymer Society for the Arts at the Red Barn StuSBb in Lindsborg. And they're both master gardeners. That means they demonstrate gardening techniques arid answer questions about gardening for 150 hours a year. L "We see something that needs to be done and say,^! 'We can do that,'" Gordon Reist said. According to national statistics, there are 28 million senior volunteers in the nation, working 5 billion hours of volunteer time a year. The value of this work would' amount to $71.2 billion. "We were told that when you retire, every day "Jl seems like a Saturday," Gordon said. "We have time^"^ now to do more things, so we do them." "We'll probably volunteer until we can't drive," Mary Reist said.
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