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Volunteer Never Too Busy to Bring Warmth to Her Job : Work: A 93-year-old Fullerton woman, praised for her dependability, finds her duties at a convalescent hospital to be gratifying and enjoyable.

TIMES STAFF WRITER

It’s lunchtime at Gordon Lane Convalescent Hospital. Volunteer Florence Shatzman is scheduled to work today and has arranged with a staff member for a ride.

At 93, Florence doesn’t drive anymore. She considers public transportation unreliable, so staff or family members take her. Although she recently cut her 21-hour-a-week schedule down to just a few hours each week, Florence remains on call and is always there when she promises.

“She is very dependable,” says Vada Dane, the hospital’s administrator. “She will always try to find a way to work. Even though she is a volunteer, she takes her work here very seriously.”

As Florence passes residents in the hallway, she greets them with a smile and warm “hello.”

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“The reason I come here is because these people are my friends,” says Florence, who has volunteered at Gordon Lane for 16 years. “I come and talk with them and socialize and see if there is anything they need.”

Florence and her husband, George, who worked for the federal government before his death in 1979, arrived in Orange County in the early 1950s from the East Coast and settled in Fullerton to raise their two children.

Initially, they had bought a home in Anaheim.

“I never lived in that house,” Florence said. “It was the time Anaheim was growing and Disneyland was being built.” she said. “I just thought Anaheim was too big.”

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Years later, with her family now grown to 16 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren, Florence is still living in the same Fullerton home. Her daughter lives next door. “I enjoy visiting with the children,” Florence said. “Whenever I come home, there is either a grandchild or great-grandchild around.”

When Florence first arrives at Gordon Lane, she takes residents coffee or tea. Then she and staff members get ready for lunch.

Florence gracefully maneuvers around the dining room, arranging chairs and wheeling residents to their tables.

She quickly walks to nearby cupboards and pulls out place mats, utensils and cups and lays them on each table.

Florence was recently honored with the California Assn. of Health Facilities’ award for adult volunteer of the year.

She was selected from 39 nominees statewide. All nominees were judged on their length and frequency of service, innovative ideas, dependability and number of additional volunteers recruited.

By receiving the state award, Florence is automatically nominated for the American Health Care Assn.'s national volunteer of the year award. The winner will be announced at a convention in November.

Helping Hands Can Lighten Load of Volunteer Tasks

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The American Lung Assn. of Orange County needs volunteers to help with clerical duties for the annual Christmas Seal campaign, which begins Oct. 1.

Volunteers are needed between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Hours are flexible.

For information, call Ana Lenis-Otoupalik at (714) 835-5864.

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The Encore Circle, Irvine Barclay Theatre’s volunteer support group, will host a membership brunch at 11:30 a.m. Oct. 10 in the lobby of the theater.

The brunch is open to current and prospective members.

For reservations, call Debbie Lucas by Oct. 4 at (714) 759-0810.

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The Orange Caregiver Resource Center is seeking volunteers to join its Saturday Club Volunteer Team, which spends five hours one or more Saturdays a month visiting and working with Alzheimer’s disease and stroke patients. Participants will receive training. The resource center is at 251 E. Imperial Highway, Suite 460, Fullerton. For information, call (800) 543-8312.

The La Mirada Legal Counseling Program needs volunteer attorneys to give references and legal advice Tuesday evenings for two hours every eight weeks.

For information, call the La Mirada Volunteer Center at (310) 943-0131, Ext. 234.

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The California American Woman’s Economic Development Corp. is seeking sales, marketing, business law, finance and business planning professionals who are familiar with small business to help train women in opening and expanding their own businesses.

Training sessions are held throughout Orange County.

For information, call Letty Herndon at (714) 755-8010.

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The Cambodian Family agency seeks volunteers for its youth education program for Cambodian refugee children.

Volunteers will help improve the children’s English language ability, help with computer skills and lead in community projects.

All activities are held Saturday mornings and weekday afternoons at the agency, 1111 E. Wakeham Ave., Suite E, Santa Ana.

For information, call (714) 571-1966.

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Fountain Valley Regional Hospital needs volunteers to work in the gift shop and in other areas of the hospital.

Morning, afternoon and evening shifts are available. Volunteers must commit to a weekly four-hour shift.

Applications are available at the lobby information desk.

For information, call Wendy Sorensen at (714) 966-8083.

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