Community Spotlight: Carol Delaney

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.

Sundays mark the time 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, knitting, 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, as one of her legs is shorter than the other.

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

During her time with Disability Advocates, Delaney has welcomed guests at the front desk and assisted with event logistics, mailings, and file organization.

“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 significant role in any nonprofit organization’s work. According to Delaney, successful volunteers keep an open mind, do not mind handling tedious tasks, and have impeccable grammar skills.

“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.

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