By Jill Olson, for Wausau Pilot and Review

When Wausau had record-breaking snowfall recently, the generosity in this community became evident by those who voluntarily blew out blocks at a time. One snowblower offered his services on a Wausau neighborhood message board – donations would be welcome, he wrote, but no one would be turned away who couldn’t pay.

To all of those who given of your time to help dig Wausau out during the last few weeks – you are appreciated. You are a big part of what makes this community great.

Many others have lived quiet generous lives, serving others without spotlight or big bank accounts.

This is the case with Marcia Volkman. After graduating from Medford high school in 1960, she attended beauty school then came to Wausau and started working at a salon.

“But that wasn’t my calling,” she said. After training to become a nurse’s assistant at the former St. Mary’s Hospital on Wausau’s east side, she found her niche.

Marcia Volkman reflects on her life as a caregiver. Photo: Jill Olson/Wausau Pilot and Review

She worked more than twenty year as a nurse’s assistant at Sunnyvale, helping people get dressed, eat, and accomplish the regular requirements of life. Now people are helping her do the same at Benedictine Living Community.

“When the doctor told me I couldn’t go back to work, those were the best words I ever heard. I was burned out,” she said.

She is enjoying her retirement years at Benedictine, where several former coworkers are also residents. One group outing she remembers fondly was made possible by student volunteers.

“The kids from Newman took us out to Oak Island. They had a picnic lunch and pushed us all the way out to behind the Eye Clinic. I felt sorry for the kid who was pushing me. I was about the heaviest one.”

Looking back, she is satisfied with her life’s work. The best part was when she found the time to sit down and visit with people, she said.

“Here I am on the other side of it now, receiving instead of giving,” she said.