Seniors Find Life After Work

Recent studies by AARP say American citizens, especially seniors, are volunteering in record numbers. The group says more than half of American adults volunteer each year.

In East Texas, it's not hard to find seniors who say volunteering is the best thing that's happened to them. Two of the most enthused volunteers work at Trinity Mother Frances Hospital every week.

Ray and Carolyn Womack, both retired teachers, have been married for 55 years. The inseparable duo started volunteering at the hospital last year.

"Since we've been here, there's been a half a dozen people through us who have volunteered," says Ray. "They seem to think we like it, and we do like it."

Carolyn and Ray are like cruise ship directors in the hospital's wellness center.

"He takes care of the telephone," said Carolyn. "We keep the juice and the coffee, and he takes care of the towels. But I won't let him go in the ladies room."

"I have been in the ladies restroom," teases Ray. "We've had to sometimes because things have gone wrong that the ladies can't take care of, so the men have to go do it."

The two raised seven kids and could spend their retirement years alone, but choose not to.

"You just get to know so many more people (through volunteering)," says Carolyn. "It's wonderful; that's part of life."

Everyday the pair see people they know, and meet handfuls of people they don't know.

If you'd like to become a Trinity Mother Frances volunteer, you can attend a tea party they're having on October 1st. The party runs from 1-3 p.m. For reservations or information, call (800) 535-9799

For general volunteer opportunities, you can call the United Way at 581-6376, extension 212.