Often, the older generation relies on grandchildren or great grandchildren to navigate them through technology.
At the age of 93, Catherine Conroy has no younger person assisting her as she inputs data into a computer, providing trouble shooting and quality control for the Niceville-based Sharing & Caring foodbank.
“It’s interesting and it keeps me busy,” Catherine said. She has volunteered with Sharing & Caring since 2003.
“My husband (Dennis) and I moved down from Vermont,” Catherine said. “We used to have a bed and breakfast there, and I was pretty busy.”
Originally from Manhattan, New York, the couple joined family as residents of the area. Their first local residency lasted about a year, after which they embarked on their B&B career adventure.
With their final Northwest Florida retirement, the couple together looked for opportunities to volunteer, and they began by helping in the foodbank pantry.
As years progressed, they were moved into other positions. Dennis died a few years ago, but Catherine continued the volunteer work. With the quality control work, she is usually found in a back office, adding that the computer work is “not at all difficult.”
Catherine has contributed to other organizations as well.
“I worked at Twin Cities Hospital as a volunteer with the auxiliary,” she said, and she volunteers with the Niceville Library.
“I like to keep busy,” she said. “You can do just so much housekeeping and reading.”
Being an older volunteer, Conroy said she has been asked how she does it.
“I don’t think old,” she said. “I sometimes find myself saying ‘How did I get to be 93?’”
Conroy also said that she intends to quit “only when the good Lord takes me, which I hope is not too soon.
“I still have too much to do here,” she added.
The Sharing & Caring Foodbank in Niceville has been active since May 1989. It’s location at 104 Bullock Blvd. in Niceville allows it to serve clients from Valparaiso, Niceville, Bluewater Bay and Seminole.
Sharing & Caring provides supplemental food for people in need. It also initiates seasonal outreach such as food baskets during Thanksgiving and Christmas, Tools for Schools in July, and an Easter basket distribution site. Clients who wish to benefit during these seasonal programs must register with the foodbank prior to those specific programs.
For supplemental food assistance, clients may inquire directly at the food bank.
Sharing & Caring Niceville is open Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon.
Anyone interested in volunteering or donating may call 850 678-8459 or visit www.sharing-n-caring.org/niceville.
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