Daily Point of Light # 2196 Jul 4, 2002

Mary L. Haas has achieved much in the course of her volunteer service, not only for the elderly, but for all ages. For the past three years, she has been the General Manager of a gift shop at Heathwood Health Care in Amherst, NY. This is an all-volunteer staff, including Haas. All the money raised in this gift shop is given back to the residents of the home, and is used for concerts, Easter plants, birthdays, Christmas presents, etc. for 160 residents. Often when someone is unable to pay for an item, Haas will pay for the item(s) herself. She spends approximately 80-90 hours per month working at the gift shop, and is responsible for the buying, selling, recruiting and scheduling of volunteers, and often fills in for others in addition to her regular Monday volunteer day.

In addition to her volunteer work at Heathwood Health Care, Haas is secretary of the St. Ann’s Society at St. Mary’s Church in Swormville, NY. From this organization, Haas coordinates birthdays of the month parties at Heathwood Health Care, and St. Francis Nursing Home in Williamsville, NY.

Haas is also in charge of a Bereavement Committee at her church that serves hot lunches after funerals. She does all the calling for donations of hot and cold dishes, recruits volunteers to serve, including her husband and herself, and purchases the rest of the items needed for each lunch. Haas handled approximately 30 funerals per year, serving anywhere from 40-350 people at a time.

Besides meeting the elderly and bereaved needs of her community, Haas is very involved in a mission that takes supplies to Nicaragua for relief. She makes up 1,000 bags containing toys and candy for children; 100 hygiene bags containing shampoo, toothpaste, toothbrushes, soap, washcloths, lotion and Kleenex for adults; 125 sewn bean bags for children; and 100 sewn and stuffed Teddy Bears for children. She purchases or makes all of these items herself and fills these quantities on a yearly basis. Haas is also involved in a local organization called Home Bureau, which does other projects for the mission in the evenings.

For the past five years, Haas has participated in the annual Multiple Sclerosis Society Walk. In the year 2000, she raised $750 in pledges. Also in 2000, she raised $1,300 for the St. Luke Mission of Mercy in Buffalo, NY.

Haas’ volunteer community service is an ongoing, everyday part of her life. These are only a few of the projects to which she actively contributes to better society. She helps to meet the needs and concerns of a wide range of individuals, not only locally in her own community, but thousands of miles away.