An Inspiring Story

Melvina is the face of our Fair Oaks Adult Activity Center, greeting everyone with warmth and openness from the first moment they walk through our doors. Through sheer force of personality, she pulls each and every person right in. Since 2007, Melvina has been a regular volunteer at our center for twenty-two hours a week. You will see Melvina wherever someone is needed, whether that is welcoming visitors at the front desk, passing out brown bag lunches, or starting an impromptu dance party.

In 2006, Melvina had a stroke, leaving her with a challenging recovery. No longer able to work, she still hungered to stay engaged and focused. She wandered into our center, offering her services as a volunteer, and has stayed committed to us for 10 years and counting.

“I would not be alive if not for my volunteer work.”

Melvina truly understands how important it is to have purpose and community in her own life, and so she has made it her mission for each person who walks through our doors to feel the same. It is an incredible individual, who after suffering a traumatic stroke, not only wants to stay engaged with challenging work but who turns around to continuously serve others with tenacious commitment and love.

In short, Melvina gets community by giving community.

In all the time Melvina has served our participants, she has always had one favorite person. Day after day, Linda would come in and sit in the same chair, waiting for her son to come pick her up. Melvina saw how challenging it was for Linda to connect with other older adults, especially since Linda was born mute.

Melvina is the kind of person who loves a challenge.

Before long, Linda and Melvina were joking together, passing notes and making faces. At dances, Melvina would pull her to the center of the room and their shoes would squeak in rhythm to the beat. It is this spirit of engaging our seniors that truly makes Melvina so remarkable. If she puts her mind to it, she can pull the shyest person out of their shell and whirl around in front of everyone, without a care in the world.

Fair Oaks Adult Activity Center is Melvina’s home away from home, and she makes everyone feel welcome here. It is one of the many reasons we love having her volunteer at Peninsula Family Service.