Volunteer Couple Making a Difference at Cedar Community
Reprinted with permission from Spring 2020 Live More magazine of Cedar Community. Although Bill and Margie Bailey are not able to volunteer during the pandemic, they look forward to resuming their work when it is safe to do so.
Bill and Margie Bailey did not have any personal connection to Cedar Community, based in West Bend, Wis., prior to 2018, when they began volunteering. “Our parents died young, we didn’t have any elderly relatives around here, so we never had any experience with Cedar Community. But, wow, you talk to anybody who has had a relative or friend who has lived there, and they are very complimentary,” says Margie.
Bill worked as a senior mortgage lender at First National Bank of West Bend for 24 and a half years before it was bought out by M&I Bank. He enjoyed the small town feel of a local bank, so he moved to National Exchange Bank the last 17 and half years of his career, retiring in 2012. Margie enjoyed 15 years at Moraine Park Technical College where she did entrance exams and aptitude and GED testing, until her department and position were eliminated. She worked for a short time in retail before finding her second dream job at Healthy Families, which was run through Catholic Charities in West Bend. She provided family support for new moms. After five years the program ended, and she retired. “I feel very fortunate to have had two jobs I really loved. I even keep in touch with several families from Healthy Families and continue to see their kids grow,” says Margie.
Both Bill and Margie have volunteered in the past for various local organizations. Most recently, thanks to a close friend of many years who volunteers at Cedar Community’s memory care, and a neighbor who shared her love of volunteering at Cedar Community, the Bailey’s signed up to volunteer. They both enjoy the opportunity to see old friends and meet new ones as they spend three to four days each month helping with a variety of activities at Cedar Community. Bill likes volunteering for Bingo and Yahtzee. He also skippers the pontoon boat in summer. Margie likes working events, especially the annual Chili Social and Used Book Sale, along with monthly birthday parties, happy hours, and Art with Jen. “Your whole staff is totally amazing. We just think the world of them,” says both Bill and Margie.
Bill enjoys being able to bring a smile to the residents’ faces. “The twinkling in their eyes just fuels my inner being of wanting to come back and do more, and more, and more. The residents are phenomenal,” says Bill. He feels he gets just as much back from the residents, and it makes a positive difference in his own life.
Margie likes the flexibility of being able to choose which events she volunteers for from a monthly listing, mailed to volunteers each month. “I have run into people I have known from years back who are now residents at Cedar Community. I love the interaction with residents, and it’s fun to be involved,” says Margie.
Bill and Margie also volunteer for the Salvation Army each year, from Thanksgiving to Christmas. They are responsible for collecting the red kettles from the Kewaskum Piggly Wiggly and taking them to the coordinator’s home to sort the donations. The Baileys both agree that volunteering allows them to help others, and that’s what it’s all about. “You have to make the most out of every moment,” says Bill.
Outside of volunteering, Bill meets friends twice a week for breakfast, swims four times a week, and enjoys reading and walking. Margie does yoga twice a week, plays Bridge, reads, and enjoys walks outside. They also help with their two grandchildren.
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