EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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May 3, 2013

Windham volunteer is tops in the county

Windham woman is county's top volunteer

(Continued)

She continued to hang around even after her mother and mother-in-law had died.

Coish has been working on behalf of seniors about 15 years now, through many meals.

She’s never taken a penny.

“It is a volunteer job,” Coish said.

In these days of agency cutbacks, Kostrzynski thinks that’s probably a good thing for Windham.

“I don’t think we could have that program at all without her,” Kostrzynski said.

“A lot of those seniors would have to miss out.”

Coish is convinced the center makes a difference in the lives of seniors, which is why she is there for them.

“Our main benefit is for socializing,” she said. “This is a place for them to go so they are not sitting in a house by themselves.”

The participants range from their late 60s to early 90s.

Coish makes a point of saying she isn’t the only one doing this.

“At 11 o’clock, certain people will get up and do what needs to be done in the kitchen for five or 10 minutes,” she said.

“Then they go back to their cards. No one is paid.”

Coish became a senior volunteer after her retirement as a dental hygienist.

For many years, she worked with a state program that brought dental services to those in need.

“Wonderful,” is how she characterizes the experience of volunteering.

“It makes you feel good,” she said, “and whoever you are volunteering for feel good.”

It is a great experience for anyone of any age, Coish believes.

She loves that the school district requires high school students to complete volunteer community service.

“I think it’s great that it is required. Most high schools are doing it now,” Coish said.

“There is always something students can do, as well as adults.”

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