All in the (Keystone) family
Millie comes from a big farm family – 12 siblings in all – so she feels right at home among her many friends in Keystone’s Active Seniors program, which offers exercise, recreation, educational opportunities and fun events for older adults.
“I’ve always been around people,” says Millie, who volunteers in the Keystone kitchen, packing hot meals in Meals on Wheels bags, setting a table or dishing up food for an Active Seniors party, or cleaning up afterwards. She enjoys lectures, watches movies and attends trips sponsored by Active Seniors. “I’ve never gone on a trip I didn’t enjoy,” she said.
At just 18, Millie came to the Twin Cities from the family farm in Paynesville, MN to find a job. When she retired in 1997, she started looking for a place to connect with other people and called the nearby Merriam Park Community Center, home to Keystone’s senior programs. She’s been a familiar friendly face at Keystone ever since.
Being from a farm, Millie was used to family gatherings around the table, so she liked the idea of volunteering in the kitchen. “I really wanted to work with the food,” said Millie, “Volunteering here is more like going visiting than coming to work, because of the people I ‘work’ with as well as our program members.”
Recently, Millie participated in an arts and crafts exhibit sponsored by Active Seniors, and displayed her African violets which were in full bloom. Although she won’t admit it, Millie has a knack for propagating and maintaining African violets, although Millie says “if the plants do well, its because of the people here. It’s a pleasure.”
Even her family knows Millie loves her time at Keystone. Her daughter Monica often teases her —“Are you going to ‘the club’ again, Mom?”