Interview with Machal Hoops. Her Role: Volunteer with Down Syndrome received a statewide honor.
1. How long have you been volunteering at Shawnee Manor?
Itís been five years. I started volunteering here in 2008. It started when I was maybe 21. Then, I got used to this place and I like it here. I became a good volunteer. I always stand up if something needs to be done. I will stand up and do it right away.
2. How many hours a week do you volunteer here?
I volunteer on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. I come in at 8:30 in the morning and leave at 5 in the afternoon. I spend a lot of time here.
3. What kinds of things do you do at Shawnee Manor?
Sometimes, I help out with the bingo. I go out to eat with them. I take van rides with them. Every year, I go to the Allen County Fair in August. Thatís once a year. I just have a great time with all the residents. I enjoy what I do. I like to tell them jokes every day, and I play the piano for them, too.
4. Tell me about your award ó what is it for?
Itís for Volunteer of the Year with the OHCA [Ohio Health Care Association]. The award was for adult volunteer of the year.
5. When did you find out you won the award?
They sent a letter to the place, but I found out at the annual volunteer banquet. Someone read a letter that they submitted to nominate me.
6. How did you feel when you heard you had won the award?
I had tears running down my face and a big smile. I was really happy. I felt excited.
7. What was actually getting the award like?
They called my name and showed a video. Then I went up to get the award.
8. How did you feel when you went up there in front of everyone?
I was a bit nervous, but I did OK. Oh, and I cried when they gave it to me.
9. Who came with you to the award ceremony?
My mom and dad came with me. Some people from Shawnee Manor were there. The president of the company was there. A couple people from Marimor came, too. My job coach Cody Bowersock was there and Angela came too. I donít know her last name. My brother Tyler Hoops was there with me too.
10. Whatís your favorite thing about volunteering here?
I love hanging out with the people. I like talking with the residents, if I can. Without them, Iíd be really sad.
11. Do you volunteer anywhere else?
This is really my only one. I do help my dad out too. Iím the shredder. I shred his paperwork. If he makes a mistake, I shred the paper. I do that once a week.
12. Whatís one thing that you wish people knew about you?
Oh, I donít know. I guess I have jokes for every day. I like to look them up every day. I get them off of the Internet. I check them out every day.
13. Can you share one of your jokes with the readers?
Sure. Why did Mickey Mouse cross the road? He was going on a Minnie vacation!