OTTAWA — Ottoville resident Marilyn Calvelage has used her retirement time to serve as a volunteer at United Way of Putnam County and was recently recognized for her service.
The non-profit organization recognized her as its Volunteer of the Year during its Jan. 17 annual meeting at Red Pig Inn in Ottawa.
“I’m grateful to receive the award and shows my work was appreciated,” Calvelage said.
Jan Fuetter, United Way of Putnam County executive director, recommended Calvelage to receive the award.
“Marilyn embodies the spirit of volunteerism, and she has given countless hours to United Way,” Fuetter said. She said the organization could not survive if if wasn’t for volunteers like Calvelage.
Growing up, her interest in volunteering was fostered by her Ottoville Up-To-Date 4-H adviser, Rita Turnwald.
“I saw how great of a volunteer she was and she told me if I ever make a mistake to say I am sorry and that has always stuck with me,” Fuetter said.
Calvelage is retired from Glandorf Elementary School, where she taught for 13 years. After retiring she wanted to find a way to give back to Putnam County and decided to become a volunteer for United Way.
“One of my favorite things I have volunteered for is United Way’s Stuff A Bus where we collect school supplies at Walmart for needy children in August,” Calvelage said.
She said kids love to be like everyone else, and having new school supplies meets that need.
Calvelage also has been a volunteer for United Way’s Imagination Library for children birth through 5 years of age who receive a book each month.
“I remember reading as a teacher. Some kids come to school and don’t know which way to hold a book. This is a way for children to have books in their homes and become familiar with them,” Calvelage said.
She also has volunteered for the WrapAround program through Family and Children First Council.
“I helped a family where there were two students and multiple agencies came together to help the family with getting a washer and other needed help,” Calvelage said. She said it is rewarding to help families in the community.
Her passion also is to help raise funds for United Way where she serves on the campaign committee and in the fall she visits local businesses and teachers to help receive fund donations for United Way.
Being a volunteer with United Way has allowed her to see how partner agencies and programs use the funds and how the funds are counted on by those in need.
She is married to Dale and they have three children and six grandchildren.
Reach Jennifer Peryam at 567-242-0362.