Lucille Mullen, a 78-year-old retiree, has been a volunteer at the Northern Regional Center for Independent Living (NRCIL) for over nine years. Mullen volunteers five days a week at NRCIL, seeing that it runs efficiently, effectively and thoughtfully. She arrives each day before 8:00 am, one hour before the Center opens, well before anyone else is there. As the Office Support Coordinator, Mullen is responsible for opening and preparing the office each morning.
Regardless of the sometimes extreme upstate New York weather, Mullen is in the office checking the machines, turning on the heat and preparing meeting rooms. She maintains a database of hundreds of names, agencies and addresses in her head. She uses her own knowledge of disabilities and personal experiences to better serve the program’s clients. As an active participant in all Center activities, Mullen lends her experience and insight to Center functions.
Mullen performs all tasks in her position: copying, typing and mailing. Around one in the afternoon, Mullen leaves, not to go home, but to head to the post office or to do any one of a number of office duties. When finished with her NRCIL duties, Mullen heads off to other volunteer sites.
Mullen has been a volunteer with Literacy Volunteers for the past 16 years, teaching inmates at the Watertown Correctional Facility how to improve their literacy skills. She does this for two hours a week. As a home tutor for the past 11 years, she works with individuals for another ten hours a week. For the past 20 years, Mullen has volunteered at the Jefferson County Ostomy Association. Additionally, she visits hospital patients, works at the local food bank and provides in-home assistance to people who are sick and/or elderly.
“The one defining line of her service to our community is that if the need is there and she can be of assistance, she’ll be there,” states Mullen’s nominator, “Anyone thinking that volunteerism is not alive need only look to Jefferson County for Lucille Mullen.”