2019 SCHA Awards
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Mary Chun Lum
Organization: Fountain Valley & Huntington Beach Senior Centers
List your nominee's experience in Senior Care.
Mary has been volunteering at the Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach Senior Center for 14 years. She helps set up and serve food for the Senior Center Lunch program.
Describe how your Nominee has exceeded his or her Job Description, becoming a hero to you or others. Provide an example or as much detail as possible of the things that they do that go above and beyond their job description.
Just because 87-year-old Mary doesn’t drive anymore, it doesn’t stop her from volunteering every weekday for the Senior Center Lunch program. Mary is known as “the hip-walking lady” by many who see her on her daily trek sporting her uniform of gloves, long sleeves and a sun-protective hat. After walking a brisk 30 minutes from her home, Mary often joins the 9:00 am exercise class at the Fountain Valley Senior Center on Tuesdays and Thursdays before she helps with set-up and serves food. Other weekdays, Mary walks an hour each way to volunteer for the lunch program at the Huntington Beach Senior Center. Collectively between the two sites, Mary volunteered a total of 528 hours in 2018. Jessie, the Fountain Valley Site Supervisor, said, “Mary is definitely an asset and very dependable!”
“I really enjoy volunteering because I feel so good and can share my love,” said Mary, “I enjoy all the senior people.” Mary helps prepare the lunch tables, wraps cutlery, sets up beverages and does whatever is needed, but serving is what she enjoys the most. “I know all the people there,” said Mary. I know where they sit and what they like to eat and drink. I like to say ‘hello’ and serve them.”
Mary began coming to the lunch program following the loss of her husband over 14 years ago. “I needed to leave the house and go senior help people. They are like my family,” she said.