“No one is more cherished in this world than someone who lightens the burden of another.”
Mary Guinn of Litchfield has made it her life’s mission to “lighten the burden of another” not only as a wife and mother, but as a caregiver and volunteer, too. She’s 82 years old, or in her words, “I try to tell everyone I’m 28 and that I’m dyslexic.”
Guinn was raised in Raymond and eventually made her way to nearly every community in Montgomery County, but Litchfield has been her home for the past 20 years.
The altruistic woman spent the better part of her career as a certified nursing assistant–helping those who are no longer able to help themselves and preserving their dignity along the way. In addition to working in Alton and Godfrey nursing homes, she served as a caregiver at Hillsboro Health Care Center for 13 years. She retired in 2002 to take care of her late husband George.
Retirement wasn’t suitable for Guinn–though–and her work was certainly not finished. For the past few years, Guinn has worked for Help At Home, where she tends to one client, and has volunteered her time to CEFS Montgomery County in Taylor Springs.
Her volunteer work is parallel to that of her employment at CEFS years ago, when she worked as a receptionist in a senior program for roughly eight years. She said she knew the office needed some extra help and tries to make it a little easier for the ladies who work there, whom she has formed relationships with. As a volunteer, she welcomes clients, copies information and shreds old and unwanted paperwork.
“We all have fun, including the bus drivers. Everybody aggravates me because I never aggravate anybody,” she said with a laugh. “I got my fingers crossed and my nose is growing.”
Guinn’s welcoming spirit volunteers Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday afternoons and all day on Tuesday, and she plans to offer her time as long as she’s able.
“What I like most about volunteering is the people I work with and the people that come in,” she said. “And I make my own hours.”
In addition to working at Help At Home and volunteering for CEFS, she enjoys crocheting, especially slippers, hats and afghans and loves to joke around. She is the mother of three children, eight stepchildren, and grandmother to 25 grandchildren and 49 great-grandchildren.