Volunteer position turns into a 17,000-hour ‘job’
November 27, 2006
Dorothy Crosby admits being manager of the Carson City Senior Citizens Center Gift Shop is a lot of work, but it’s a position she has come to love.
“After all these years, I’ve found my niche,” she says with a chuckle.
Donating her time is in her blood. Crosby, 83, began volunteering at the gift shop more than 16 years ago. Before that she was a “pink lady” at Carson-Tahoe Hospital for four years.
After a recent calculation, Crosby estimates her total volunteer time at 17,670-something hours. The pin on her name tag shows 13,600 hours – but that was from 2003.
“I can’t believe I got to that,” she said. “But this place keeps me mentally and physically going. There’s a lot of work behind the scenes.”
Crosby’s friendly disposition is a good fit for the gift shop. She interacts with many seniors and the public on a daily basis, helping them find “hidden treasures” to buy.
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She also organizes monthly bus trips to area casinos. The cost is minimal and riders get some money back in casino credit.
“Everybody loves Boomtown,” she said of the trips. “It gives me a good feeling seeing everyone smile as they board the bus. They’re ready to go.”
Crosby and her husband, Don, have been married 61 years. They have three daughters: Mary Barry and Betty Horton both in Reno, and Carol Harlan in Carson City. There are six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, with one on the way.
Dorothy retired from the Nevada Tax Commission in 1979 after 24 years, the same day Don retired from the state as a highway engineer after 34 years.
“He didn’t want to be home by himself, so he asked if I would retire with him,” she said. “And I did.
“I don’t regret it a minute. We get to see the most beautiful sunsets from our house at the Lake (Tahoe) when we’re there.”
In the gift shop, Crosby gives credit to her co-chairwoman, Fern Stewart, for making her job easier.
“Fern decorates and arranges the items, I don’t know what I’d do without her,” she said. “And our volunteers are very dedicated. Some have been here as long as I have.
“I get up every day like it’s a job – but I enjoy the fun of it. I look forward to my day here.”
• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1223.