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Volunteer Spotlight: Del Lloyd

December 4, 2017
Del Lloyd is a workhorse. One would never guess the Oakcrest resident turned 98 on Aug. 1 based on her extensive volunteering resume.

"My husband was a patient here for a long time and I wanted to pay back because they were so good to him," Del said. "I just appreciated all they had done for him. … I had some friends who worked in the Gift Shop so I thought I would try that. And that was a good experience. It was with people and upbeat."

Her good friends, Don and the late Gayle Webb – also GBMC volunteers – introduced her to GBMC's volunteering opportunities about 20 years ago. Since then, Del has amassed close to 4,500 hours of service for GBMC and its community. In addition to working in the Gift Shop and the lab, she also has previously helped out with the Nearly New Sale, specifically the fashion shows that once served as an informal introduction into the upcoming sale's stock.

"We used to model," Del said. "Ozella (Ruppersberger) was so good at selecting all the stuff I would never think I'd wear. She had really nice fashion shows."

About five years ago, Del's knees brought her gift shop hours to an end, but they didn't stop her excitement about volunteering. She can still be found in the lab during the Monday afternoon shift.

"I really like the people I work with," Del said. "The phlebotomists are good and the registrars are always nice. We have a good time together.

"I see people I know all the time. I don’t think a week goes by that I don’t meet someone that I know coming into the lab. Seems like everybody eventually gets there."

Sometimes even local celebrities make their way past Del's desk. She recalls signing in Helen Bentley, a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from Maryland from 1985 to 1995 who passed away last year; a retired Oriole and a current Oriole.

But aside from the celebrity sightings, Del enjoys volunteering at GBMC because of the warmhearted nature of the Volunteer Office.

"They're very good to their volunteers here. They appreciate us," Del said. "It's just a nice atmosphere. I enjoy it. They're friendly. They give us turkeys. They give us gifts. They're just nice to us. They're always friendly and I appreciate that. It's a nice place to volunteer."

A Cincinnati, Ohio native, Del and her family moved all over the country during the war. After her husband returned from service in the Korean War, he wanted a new job. So in 1953, the Lloyds came to Baltimore where Dale worked for the Board of Education and the Board of Recreation for the county before going into business for himself.

Del worked as a dietician. First for a meat company called Goetze's which offered her the opportunity to have summers off to be with her two children. And later in life, she worked for the Health Department on the dietary side of licensing and certification for nursing homes and hospitals.

"I loved dietetics," Del said. "I still keep up with my friends. They're all younger than I was because I was a supervisor and they were the surveyors, and they still take care of me. They come and take me out."

In addition to lunch with former colleagues, Del takes classes at Oakcrest; participates in their buddy reading program, listening to grade school from the local charter school read to the residents; working in the Treasure Chest and the Rack; making hundreds of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for Helping Up Mission and Salvation Army and casseroles for Catholic Charities.

Del's enthusiasm for life is clear through her volunteerism and she has no plans to step back. "I enjoy it and as long as I can do it, I want to do it."
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