Woodward, Okla. —
LYNES' BUSY VOLUNTEERING SCHEDULE
Every Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, Lynes said she delivers meals to people who can't get out for one reason or another, such as those just returning from a hospital stay or who are confined to a wheelchair.
She said she even volunteers to cover other routes when needed because the meal delivery is one of her favorite volunteer activities.
"Sometimes, I may be the only person they see in a day," she said of the delivery clients.
Being there for others means a lot to Lynes. Because in addition to the meal deliveries, she said she will occasionally sit with one woman while the woman's husband goes to doctors' appointments.
Another regular activity for Lynes are the weekly Woodward County Hugs Project meetings on Tuesdays. The Hugs Project is a group that helps prepare care packages to send to deployed troops.
She said the packages include things such as "clothing, like pajamas for injured soldiers, and packages of candy or gum, some things that remind them of home."
She said during Christmastime, she and the other volunteers made more than 600 holiday stockings to send to the soldiers, stuffed with sweet treats.
Lynes is also involved with fundraising and raising awareness for Polycystic Kidney Disease, an affliction that plagued her late husband, Carl. She's also involved with collecting money for cancer research.
"I also donate blood and make chemo caps," she said.
REASON FOR VOLUNTEERING
So why does Lynes devote so much of her time to fulfilling the needs of others, and doing it for no pay?
"It gives me a sense of purpose," she said. "It puts a warm feeling in my heart."
As to why she volunteers with the specific organizations that she does, Lynes said it is "because they do things that mean something special to me."
That is particularly true with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) research since her husband died from the disease.
"I would like to see the disease (PKD) to get to a point where it is like Polio, where we can talk about it where it's in the past and not doing what it does now," Lynes said.
She said she also volunteers simply because there is the need for it.
"If look around always someone who can use a little bit of help," she said.
In particular with the meal deliveries, Lynes said, "you can tell they (clients) have a need for it. A lot of times you are sure they eat half for lunch and the other half for their evening meal."
Lynes said volunteering is just a part of who she is.
"I've always been kind of a caregiver, when think back on my life from early on," she said.