Madeline Rash isn’t slowing down.
The 84-year-old volunteer with Better at Home is often helping out those younger than her with trips to the hospital or delivering meals. She also works the phone at their downtown office.
“I like (volunteering), it keeps me out of the hospital,” she said with a chuckle.
“You don’t have to be in the hospital to enjoy your life.”
Better at Home is a United Way organization which helps seniors remain independent. They offer visits, transportation, housework and grocery shopping.
Helping out others isn’t something unfamiliar to Rash. She was named the Quesnel Homemakers employee of the year in 1990, receiving a letter of congratulations from then-mayor Michael Pearce for 15 years of work.
“Somebody told me about Better at Home and I jumped right on it,” Rash said of the organization she volunteers for.
“I thought, ‘well, why not.’”
Rash’s own mobility has taken a slight hit, as she has had two knee replacements, but when asked about it, she has a quick reply ready.
“(I’ve got) two of them, and one is bigger than the other and makes me limp,” she said.
“But that’s okay, because, what the heck, I’m not gonna do that again.”
Quesnel volunteer organizations are struggling to find manpower in 2021. Rash thinks if more people volunteered, the world would be a better place.
“If (people) could volunteer, instead of sitting at home and complaining… they would get along better,” she said.
“If you can drive, and you can talk, why not do something? You can finally get to do something if you could get off your you-know-what and do it.”
When she’s not at the office or driving someone around, Rash can be found playing bingo.
“I like people,” she said.
Rash recalled a time when someone she was driving complained she was waving at passers-by.
“I’ve been around a long time, so people wave at me when they see me coming, and I wave back,” she said.
Rash said she feels strongly about keeping clients’ thoughts and feelings private, especially important travelling back and forth to medical appointments.
“One thing I believe in, is if someone tells you something in your car or in the office, you don’t go and complain about it because you can’t repeat it,” she said, laughing.
“I always tell people I’m deaf… That way whatever I hear I can’t repeat.”
As for what Rash sees for her future, she just repeats a simple mantra.
“You know what, I’m not gonna quit,” she said.
“Because as soon as you’ve quit you’ve had it. When you’re dead you’re laying down for a long time, and I’m not going to do that.”
Do you know of a Hometown Hero who lives in Quesnel and area worthy of recognition? Email the contact information of the person and their story to firstname.lastname@example.org, and they could be featured in a future edition.
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