Celia Chace said she has volunteered all her adult life.
But the volunteer work she does now, she says, is some of her most important.
“I feel sorry for the helpless, although I’m right there with them now,” she said.
At 83, she uses a wheelchair to get around. She has an auto-immune disease that leaves her in constant pain, she said, and also struggles with low vision.
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Volunteering, Chace said, is her anchor.
“It keeps my mind off the pain,” Chace said. “If you are doing other things for other people, you have other things to worry about.”
Currently, Chace is a member of the Silver Haired Legislature representing District 2. She regularly attends the Triad Council of South Central Kansas meetings and speaks out on elder abuse.
In recent years, she collected thousands of signatures for a petition asking local and state legislators to not cut benefits to the frail, elderly, disabled and mentally ill. In Sheridan Village, where she lives, friends say she will often volunteer to carry other people’s groceries to help them.
“I think the Lord wants me to help the helpless,” Chace said.
“There are so many people who have no one to help them. I see it all the time, and it irritates me.
“Anything I can do to get changes made, I’m will do. I won’t give up as long as I can breathe.”