Carol Delaney shares her experience volunteering with Disability Advocates for over nine years.

Carol Delaney keeps a tight schedule. 

Weekdays begin with volunteerism. Activities include reading to children at the Kent District Library, packing food with Feeding America West Michigan, and planning game nights at an assisted living facility. 

Sunday is set aside for attending mass at the local Catholic church and greeting families, Faith Formation students, and community members. 

The cracks in time between scheduled events fill up fast with campaign, travel, reading, and social outings with friends. 

Of course, Lisa, a tuxedo-colored cat, prowls into the picture now and again, too.

Despite maintaining a jam packed calendar, Delaney will find a way to pencil you in.

“I like people,” Delaney said. “I’ve got to stay lively.”

Since 2013, Disability Advocates of Kent County has been Delaney’s favorite place to lend a hand. Delaney resonates with the mission and programming due to her lived experience with a physical disability. 

“I love being here because I feel like part of the team,” Delaney said. 

There are few tasks Delaney will not help out with. She has welcomed guests at the front desk, assisted with event logistics and mailings, and organized files. 

“I am a jack of all trades,” Delaney said. “ I take pride in doing the right stuff. When I start a project, it gets done.”

Volunteers play a major role in any nonprofit organization’s work. Successful volunteers keep an open mind, do not mind handling tedious tasks, and have impeccable grammar skills, according to Delaney. 

“Can you carry on a conversation?” Delaney said. “Do you like learning, being in a new environment, and connecting with people who aren’t like you?”

If you ever find yourself with a spare moment, thank Delaney for her giving back to others. You will almost certainly hear about Delaney’s favorite things: coffee, conversation, crafts, and kitties.