WASCO’s superhero

The employees overseeing the senior room at WASCO Inc. are not shy when it comes to expressing their appreciation for long-time volunteer Carolyn Miller.

Miller is basically a superhero of volunteerism, said Tina Dalton, WASCO associate.

“She gives her time. She gives her money to plan events. She goes out of her way to do above what a volunteer would do,” said Dalton.

Miller, 68, of Lower Salem, has been volunteering in the senior room at WASCO, visiting once monthly for crafts and healthy snack projects, for about four years now.

Since then, Miller’s lifetime love of parties and her affinity for sharing smiles has branched out into planning several annual parties at the facility, which provides opportunities and assistance to adults with developmental disabilities.

“I’m not sure how we got started but we try to hold at least four or five events a year. The last one we did is the ice cream social. Next we’ll be doing an Oktoberfest,” said Miller.

Miller, a member of the former Marietta Clown Club, still clowns at some of the parties. It’s just one of the many ways she finds to spread a little happiness.

“I sing with the WOW Singers at the adult day care at the O’Neill Center and places like that. We try to use a lot of props. We do sing-alongs and try to get them really into it,” she said.

Miller has also been a volunteer through the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) since 2007. Through the program, she teachers tai chi classes around the county and volunteers as a dispatcher for the Senior Wheels program.

“That’s another really good program for our county,” she said.

The Senior Wheels program takes county residents ages 55 and older on one personal trip a month and to any doctors appointments they have scheduled, thereby making it easier for them to continue living independently, explained Miller.

As far as Miller is concerned, she is happy to get paid in smiles and friendly faces.

“I find no matter what I’m doing, I have fun. If they’re having fun, I’m having fun,” she said.

Getting involved in volunteering is easy and WASCO is always looking for volunteers, especially male volunteers, she said.

“There aren’t many males so to have some men that could just come in and sit down, have a cup of coffee, and watch a TV program, would be great,” she said.