Monday, April 26, 2004

Cards reach out to seniors


Woman takes time to help others in need

By Janet Wetzel
Enquirer contributor

When most people prepare their greeting card list for special occasions, they'll likely have a handful of names to check off. Rose Marie Woodall's list would stretch across a long room, and it takes weeks to prepare cards each time.

[img]
Marie Woodall, a resident of Pinecrest Senior Center in Price Hill, makes Easter greeting cards in the center's recreation center.
(Gary Landers photo)
She sends out nearly 1,000 cards to senior citizens for all major holidays. Recently, as soon as the last Valentine card was filled out, she jumped right in on Easter cards. She and a handful of dedicated helpers work on the cards all year, doing far more than just filling them out. There are never enough new, donated cards, so they break out stickers, markers and glue and recycle old ones. Sometimes they have to make some from scratch.

Woodall, 76, of Price Hill, who retired from Harry's Corner in the mid-1980s, heads up the Card Circle Project of Delhi Coalition on Aging. She and her helpers prepare the cards for all residents in nine nursing homes. Joan Wellbrock, of Bridgetown, delivers them.

Even on days when others can't help, Woodall is steadfast. She often winds up taking cards home to work on. She also volunteers weekly at the reservation desk in her Pinecrest apartment complex. And she does it all from the wheelchair that's been her mode of transportation since her third back surgery in 1992.

"I had total reconstruction of the spine, complete with all the hardware, nuts and bolts," said Woodall, displaying her ready sense of humor despite her ongoing battle with cancer. "I've been slowed down some, but I'm not disabled."

Woodall, a widow, began helping with the Card Circle soon after it began in 1993 to cheer up homebound senior citizens. She took it over in 1995 when circle director, the late Mary Miller, became ill, said Sister Jeanette Jabour, community outreach worker for Bayley Place Long-term Care facility, run by the Sisters of Charity. She started the Card Circle as an outreach project.

"She's sick herself, but she just keeps on going, getting those cards ready to cheer up others. She's always more concerned about others than herself. Her health slows her down, but nothing stops her."

"A lot of these people don't get any other mail. We can't disappoint them,'' said Woodall, who has volunteered all of her adult life. "It's amazing how it lifts people up. I never get weary with this, never too tired to do it. It's worth every hour."

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Do you know a Hometown Hero - someone in your community dedicated to making it a better place to live and helping others? E-mail Janet Wetzel at jjwetzel@siscom.net or fax to 513-755-4150.




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