While many elderly people are simply put out to pasture, there are others who find wide fields of service waiting for them.
Waves of students moving across the campus of LDS Business College like stands of wheat rippling in a summer breeze find seven gray-haired volunteers waiting to help them.Cyril Boothe has given almost five years of service to the college and its students. "I came here on an LDS Church service mission and if I hadn't enjoyed it, I wouldn't have stayed!" Boothe said. "I help locate alumni records, and I just seem to mosey over here to the library to help," Boothe said.
Berniece Draney is serving a full-time church education mission and can be found pinch-hitting in admissions, placement, the college's co-op program or at the library. "I really love working with the kids, especially the foreign students. Often they'll bring in an assignment and ask me to look at their grammar," she said.
Alan Morgan is the college librarian and is especially grateful for the work of the volunteers. "I'd never get to go to conferences, on vacation or even to lunch without them," he said. "But even more important than keeping me from working a 60-hour week, they are like a listening station for the students. It's not unusual to have kids come in here asking if so-and-so is working today and dropping off cookies for them."
Mae Hilden finds working with the students is the part of her service she enjoys most. "I served a church history/family history mission, and now I'm on a church service mission. But the kids are the best part, especially the international students."
After 15 years as a bailiff, Grover Medley decided to spend time at the college in security and as a courier. He also works each Wednesday volunteering as a host at the Salt Lake Public Library. A hip-replacement operation has slowed him down a bit, but he's counting the days until he can return. "The greatest feeling you can get in volunteering is the wonderful interaction with the kids," Medley said.
Expertise is another commodity that is freely donated to the college. Earl Spencer and Howard Ruff have helped with public relations and marketing. "I've recommended some routes they might take and given some counsel," said Ruff. "We had a very positive interaction with a BYU class that did a marketing studies project and presented it to the college," he said.
For Lynn Hilton, the expertise being shared with LDS Business College comes from his many years in LDS Church education administration. He has been called on a formal mission to write a history of the 100-plus years of the college.
Of all the services and time being donated to the students and to the college itself, it may be that behind the college or along a pathway is where some of the greatest needs are filled. Said Medley, "Out in the parking lot we talk with some of these students who are down in the dumps. `How can we help you young people?' we ask them," Medley said. By stepping in to fill the shoes of a far-away grandparent, these senior volunteers answer that question daily.