Volunteering at Ferriday Senior Center has grown on Latham

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 10, 2000

FERRIDAY, La. — Helen Latham was a reluctant volunteer at first – but five years after she began volunteering at the Ferriday Senior Center, she admits that it has grown on her.

&uot;It’s the fellowship I&160;like the most,&uot; said Latham, 70, of Ferriday, taking a break from helping with the center’s pre-lunch bingo game.

After Latham’s husband died, her daughter recommended she volunteer to help pass the time. &uot;I told her I wasn’t sure about it at first,&uot;&160;the homemaker said with a smile. &uot;That was five years ago.&uot;

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At the center, which is operated by the Concordia&160;Council on Aging, Latham performs a myriad of activities five days a week.

Those tasks range from helping serve lunch to the facility’s regulars to getting them water to drink to simply being a listening friend.

Although her busiest time at the center is from 11 a.m. to noon – the facility’s lunchtime – she sometimes comes to the center as early as 9 a.m. &uot;I get tired of being in the house,&uot;&160;Latham said, laughing. She agreed the feeding program is needed in her area. &uot;It only costs $1 a meal, and you couldn’t feed yourself on that otherwise.&uot;

Latham does not have a title or job description, just doing &uot;anything they ask me to do, anything that needs to be done.&uot;

She even helps with the Concordia Council on Aging’s annual Christmas party.

&uot;This gives me something to do,&uot;&160;Latham said. &uot;But mostly, I&160;just enjoy the people.&uot;

Dorothy McDonald, executive director of the Concordia Council on Aging, said that agency runs largely due to the efforts of volunteers and called Latham &uot;one of the most faithful volunteers we have over there.&uot;