Linda Morse of Troy is what some at the Lincoln County Council on Aging (LCCOA) might call heaven-sent.
Morse has been volunteering with LCCOA since March of 1997.
“A group of the ladies was down at Wal-Mart, when they had the thing where you could sit and eat at their place down there, and they were playing Bingo and I stayed and played with them and they invited me over for lunch and I just fell in love with the place,” Morse said.
And she has been volunteering in some form or fashion ever since.
Right now, aside from being involved with raffles and special events, Morse runs the Bingo every Wednesday from 12:30-2:30 p.m., which is a great fundraiser for meal programs.
“We’re always looking for more players and everyone is welcome,” Morse said.
What’s kept Morse coming around and volunteering for so long? The people she gets to meet along the way.
“The people are just fantastic. They’re fabulous, beautiful. They are so dedicated to what they are doing up there,” she said.
Linda’s main bag is fundraising for LCCOA’s Color Run and Walk-a-thon.
And she’s good at it too – this year she raised $5,825, beating last years tally by more than $1,000.
Morse got involved in the fundraising side of things through a simple question.
“It was funny. I went in there and saw them with this paper and I asked them what it was,” she said.
“They said they were getting donations for the walk-a-thon. I was only 50 years old at the time when I started there. I asked them if anyone could walk or is it only seniors. They told me anyone could walk so I asked what I had to do and they told me I had to get sponsors.”
So Morse went out with a sponsor sheet, but no one wanted to sponsor her per mile, just flat donations.
“I only had a week and a half and I collected $500. I thought, ‘This is pretty cool.’ So I asked if they were doing it next year and I told them to let me know when,” Morse said.
Morse has a wealth of stories about the times and experiences she’s had volunteering and fundraising for LCCOA.
Morse said that her favorite memory, thus far, is being able to meet so many sweet and loving people.
“A lot of people from up there have passed away,” Morse said. “You lose a lot of friends and you make a lot of new friends.”
Morse doesn’t volunteer for herself – even though she does claim that to her it’s a lot of fun – but she does it for the people in her community that need it. The people that are in a bad situation or that are a little less fortunate than others.
It’s all about the people that she can help along the way.
She even has a letter from the White House, a President’s Volunteer Service Award, where she is thanked for her tireless volunteer efforts, signed by President Barack Obama.
As long as Morse has been volunteering, she’s showing no signs of slowing down.
In fact, it’s quite the opposite.
She said that as long as she can, she’d be volunteering for LCCOA.
“Linda is literally like the Energizer Bunny, and keeps going and going,” Janet Carver, LCCOA’s Troy Site Director, said. “Even after she broke her shoulder. She’s been an inspiration!”
“She was so helpful to me learning about LCCOA when I started in 2014,” Lindsey Kelley, growth coordinator for LCCOA, said. “Ever since, Linda has been someone I can count on, and a dear friend.”
Morse wanted to say a big thank you to all the businesses and patrons of Troy that have donated along the way, because without them, she wouldn’t be able to help the community as much as she wants.
She said that sometimes she’ll go somewhere around donation time and someone will jokingly ask her if she’s there to collect.
“They know the money is going to a good cause,” she said. “It’s fun and I just love it. If it weren’t for the businesses in town and the generosity of the people in town, I’d never be able to do all I can do.”