Many Lighthouse Guild volunteers demonstrate a long-term commitment to serve, but few can top Mary Betancourt’s five decades of service. Although Mary has worked with many Reading Program clients during this time, for the past nine years she has focused primarily on one client. Together, they go through mail and email, pay bills, and spend time reading academic and recreational materials. They’ve also come to enjoy social activities and have forged a friendship valued by them both.
Mary and her client have a mutual admiration. Says Mary, “I admire the client’s energy and enthusiasm so much. I’m 76, and this person keeps me active and engaged. Over the years I’ve come to cherish our time together.” Echoes the client, “Mary has been a great reader and support to me in many ways. She’s smart and well read, which also makes her an engaging conversationalist. I really appreciate her flexibility, her kindness, and all she does for me.”
Mary shows no sign of slowing down after 50 years of volunteering, and our clients—and Lighthouse Guild—are all the better for that.