Being an active volunteer in the community can be a full time job, and for Glenda Martin, retirement didn’t mean resting, it meant helping others and giving back to her community as best as she could. Glenda is the perfect candidate for The Lincoln County Journal’s Volunteer of the Year as she proved to be able to cover many different avenues in the community. Roberta Hagemeier, who helps volunteer with her at the church, nominated Glenda to be this years Volunteer of the Year.
Glenda worked for many years traveling to different states in her telephone career, landing in Virginia where she met her husband, Garry Martin. At the time of her retirement in 2003, Glenda worked at Verizon Communications as a Director of Human Resources. In 2006 Garry Martin retired and the two decided to purchase land in Elsberry where Glenda was born and raised. In 2007 the couple made their way back to the to small town where Glenda seemed to hit the ground running. She quickly got involved in Elsberry First Christian Church and from there things took off.
“I volunteer at my church because it’s a spiritual place and allows me to grow as a Christian and to build a stronger foundation with not only God, but with our church family as well,” Glenda said.
Glenda’s volunteer efforts don’t stop at Elsberry First Christian Church though; she is a Director on the Board of the Lincoln County Cupboard, Inc and a weekly volunteer, Treasure of the local chapter of P.E.O., a philanthropic educational organization, member of DNC (Daughters of the New Century), member of the Joseph R. Palmer Family Memorial Library Board, she teaches free exercise classes three times a week at the local Nutrition Center and other locations as well as delivers hot meals to senior citizens and the homebound from the Nutrition Center.
“I enjoy being able to give back to the community, which is why DNC and P.E.O are so important to me. DNC gives right back to Elsberry and P.E.O. helps women further their education. I teach my exercise classes to be able to keep myself fit and to help others push themselves to get fit with me,” explained Glenda. “One of my favorite things to do though is to volunteer at the food pantry. It’s instant gratification as you see that your contributions are helping someone that same day. The volunteers there are great to work with, the environment is fun and the people are all friendly at the food pantry.”
Glenda likes to spend her free time traveling with her husband, Garry and going to St. Louis Cardinal games. “This fall we are going to Europe for the first time for Garry’s birthday.” Garry, currently works for OATS as a bus driver. Glenda said, “He really makes a connection with his passengers and everyone seems to love him. He inspires me to help others. The best marriages inspire each other and he does just that for me.”
Just as Garry inspires Glenda, Glenda hopes her good deeds are being paid forward by others. “I saw a sign at the United Methodist Church a while back and it really stuck with me, it said, ‘Work for the cause, not for the applause’, and that is what I continue to do. I’m truly honored to even be considered for the Volunteer of the Year.” Glenda explained the award as being one of her major accomplishments in her retired life, and one that she is very proud of.