COA Profiles: For Maley, all it took was being asked

Published 8:29 am Friday, February 14, 2014

Frank Maley is the February Cass County Council on Aging profile. (Submitted photo)

Frank Maley is the February Cass County Council on Aging profile. (Submitted photo)

When you have an open heart like Frank Maley, all it takes to become a volunteer is being asked.

That’s how Maley joined Handy Helpers, the group at the Cass County COA that builds wheelchair ramps and installs assistive devices for homebound seniors.

Did he have to know about building?

“For more than three decades, my experience had been in banking and sales, so I knew nothing about construction,” Maley said. “The wonderful thing is that there are so many tools that make building something much easier. With guidance from fellow builders, it is really not difficult to create a wheelchair ramp.”

Maley had retired but never considered volunteering, but when Dave Hoger asked him to be part of Handy Helpers, he just jumped in. Then the COA’s Pen Pal program needed more men to write letters to grade school boys. Maley was asked and he said yes. And he has continued every year since.

Making a difference in the life of a child is not something you want to do for just one year. I am hooked.

Where does this spirit of volunteering come from? Years ago Maley was part of a group whose motto was, “Service to humanity is the best work of life.” And that is a credo he took to heart. And heart is what Maley is all about. His giving spirit is constantly rewarded. He said, “Every program I have been involved with at the COA has allowed me to help someone else and that in itself is reward enough.

At tax time, Maley does have a chance to use his banking experience as one of the COA’s tax preparation experts.

“For many residents of Cass County, accessing the services of someone to prepare your taxes costs money,” Maley said. “And when you are having a hard time getting by, doing taxes for someone at no cost removes a huge barrier for them. That is very gratifying.”

Maley believes the COA has so many programs designed to serve humanity, and that makes it a wonderful place to volunteer. The COA asks and Maley brings his heart. And that is the true spirit of volunteerism.


Cass County Council on Aging Profiles are provided by the COA