O’Neill Center is like family to ‘Grandma Betty’

For Betty Offenberger quitting was never an option.

After working at the O’Neill Center earlier in life, Offenberger, 87, referred to as “Grandma Betty” by some guests of the center, returned two years ago as a volunteer.

“I just love it here, it’s like family to me,” said Offenberger.

Her helpful presence is surely memorable as evidenced by all the cards she receives from past guests of the center.

“Betty is a nice complement to the staff,” said Executive Director Connie Huntsman. “She is a very dedicated volunteer that brings light to the members.”

Question: How long have you been volunteering?

Answer: I volunteered often at different places, you know, but here (at the O’Neill Center) I’d say a couple years.

Q: How often do you volunteer?

A: I’m here at least two days a week.

Q: What are your responsibilities?

A: Well I work in the little kitchenette and keep all the dishes done up and cleaned up and I get the tables set up for lunch and I serve lunch, then lunch is here, and then I clean up everything and do the dishes.

Q: What is most rewarding part of your experience here?

A: It keeps me more alert, more active, motivates me to get around. Otherwise, I’d just be at home by myself.

Q: Does it affect you at all that you are older than the majority of people you volunteer for?

A: I don’t pay much attention or think much about it. There’s one lady, when I was working here, when she comes she calls me grandma.

Q: Why do you think volunteering in the community is important?

A: I think there are a lot of places in need of volunteers, if they could only get them. I think it’s important for people to get out and help, especially for older people.

Q: In what ways do you think the O’Neill Center helps the community?

A: I think that it gets people to know more and get out and feel like they are welcome at different places.

This interview was conducted by Kelsie Rinard.