Since she came to Lincoln County 29 years ago, Joyce Pickering, of Silex, has served the people of Lincoln County through volunteerism.
This is why Pickering has been honored as the 2017 Volunteer of the Year sponsored by the Lincoln County Journal. She was nominated by her daughter, Susan Smith.
Originally from Iowa, Pickering moved to Lincoln County from California after she and her husband, Fred, were looking for a place to farm. She says that despite having to move from one part of the country to the other, Lincoln County has been a good place to live.
“It has been a good change, I have liked it,” she said. “We have not been back to California.”
Pickering has been a dedicated board member with the Lincoln County Council on Aging (LCCOA). She has helped with the fundraising efforts for LCCOA as well as coordinated an exercise class for the seniors. Pickering has also lead a monthly educational trip for the seniors.
“Some of these people have never been out of our county,” she said. “There is so much to see in our metropolitan area.”
Pickering has been involved with Meals on Wheels to homebound residents in the Silex, Millwood and Olney area for the past 20 years. She says that delivering meals to the residents has been a joy to her and the residents as well.
“Most of the time you are the only person that they are ever going to see all day,” she said. “It’s a joy to see people’s faces light up when you are delivering meal.”
Pickering has been a long-standing member of the Lincoln County Republican Club. She has served as secretary for the club and helped plan the dinners the club has put on. Pickering has also been an elected county central committeewoman and has been an avid member of the University Extension Council.
“We have just tried to stay on top of things when it comes to politics because it effects everybody’s lives not just Republicans and Democrats.”
Pickering says that getting along with other people is important when volunteering.
“You have to enjoy working with people and there are so many kinds,” she said. “You know that you are bettering their lives, enriching it in some way. Whether it is a trip going some place that they have never been, or the exercise where they know that physically that they are feeling better and doing better, or seeing someone light up because they are getting a meal and someone is coming in and saying good morning.’”
Pickering has been very involved with St. Alphonsus Church in Millwood. She has served as a Eucharistic minister and has served on the board. She has also served with the Ladies Auxillary and has helped with the several dinners held at the parish.
“You just try to be a God loving worshiping person,” she said.
Pickering has also invested in the future of Lincoln County with her volunteerism. In earlier years she ran a day care for the children in the Silex and Millwood area.
“It was that much more enjoyable when they got into middle school, high school and you would go to the games and you knew who they were,” she said.
For years Pickering volunteered for “Reading Buddies” at St. Alphonsus school and taught country line dancing to children in both public and private schools. In addition to volunteering, Pickering enjoys remaining active in several outdoor activities, including horseback riding and camping.
“We have always liked to do physical things,” she said.
Pickering and her husband have three children, Mike Pickering, Susan Smith and Carrie Martin and have 12 grandchildren.
“The people in Lincoln County are so, generous,” she said. “You look at all the fundraisers. If somebody has an illness, or an accident of any sort people just come out and help.”