The Times West Virginian

July 8, 2013

Volunteering allows Louise White to stay involved in community

By Kaylyn Christopher
Times West Virginian

FAIRVIEW — When Louise White heard that the Fairview Senior Center was in need of volunteers, she knew it was right up her alley.

Following her retirement from the Marion County Board of Education, she immediately got involved.

White said she has been active in the center since it opened in 2004 and has played a role in the organization of the various activities it is able to offer.

“I just like to help people that need the help, and we want to see our senior center make a go of it,” White said. “There’s no other place where seniors can go for recreation in Fairview.”

According to White, an array of activities is available to those who visit the senior center.

Seniors can enjoy a number of fitness activities made possible by the center’s exercise room, or they can choose to test their bowling skills on the Wii video gaming device.

White also said crafts and puzzles are always available, but the most popular activity is bingo.

“We have bingo every Wednesday night and that seems to draw the biggest crowd,” White said. “They love to play bingo.”

The volunteers at the Fairview Senior Center carefully organize all the activities that are available on a daily basis and they also work to host various celebrations.

From Halloween parties to Mother’s Day and Father’s Day teas and birthday celebrations, White said there is never a dull moment at the senior center.

During the summer months, those who go to the senior center maintain a vegetable garden and are able to eat the produce they grow.

Most recently, the center hosted a Fourth of July breakfast that was open to all residents of the community.

Whether it’s opportunities to socialize or the organization of activities, the Fairview Senior Center places a priority on looking for ways to provide entertainment.

“With a little town, you don’t have a lot, so you have to create your own,” White said.

White, who has also served on the Marion County Senior Citizens Board of Directors for the past three years, said the center is a valuable asset to the community and its residents.

“It gives the seniors an opportunity to go out and mingle and have fellowship with other people,” she said.

Throughout her time as a volunteer, White has been able to develop strong relationships with those who come to the center and has also observed the relationships they build with one another.

According to White, a Fairview native, those types of bonds are easy to find within the town.

“It’s just a nice, quiet town. The people are very friendly and very helpful, and someone is always there if you need help,” she said.

White extends her willingness to help to other areas of the community as well.

She has been a member of Haughts Chapel Methodist Church for about 10 years where she is the president of the ladies’ group.

White said she and the other members of the ladies’ group serve dinners at the church and do anything they can to assist when others are in need.

Up until about five years ago, when the organization stopped meeting, White was also involved with the Woman’s Club in Fairview.

“If there could be any interest, we would like to see that brought back because I think the Woman’s Club did quite a bit for the community also,” she said.

In the meantime, White plans to continue to dedicate her time to the community and the senior center well into the future. About a handful of other volunteers work alongside White at the senior center, but she said they are always in need of more.

“We do need more volunteers,” White said. “Anyone who is willing can call or stop by.”

Individuals interested in helping out can call the Fairview Senior Center at 304-449-2235.

Email Kaylyn Christopher at kchristopher@timeswv.com or follow her on Twitter @KChristopherTWV.