Volunteer Spotlight – Sylvia Flahaut
November 9, 2022
Meet Sylvia Flahaut
Wings: Tell us a little about yourself.
I was born in Illinois and have lived in Allegan County since age 5. I graduated from Allegan High School and stayed in the area. I was married at 19 and raised two children with my husband, Wally. We used the services of the Wings Home in 2016 when Wally passed away from Leukemia.
I spent most of my working life at Allegan General Hospital, retiring in 2011. I wanted something meaningful to do with some of my time so I started volunteering at the Wings Home and also Allegan District Library “Friends of the Library.” I love to travel, garden and go for walks. Family get-togethers are one of my greatest joys.
Wings: How long have you been volunteering with Wings?
I have volunteered at the Wings Home for 10 1/2 years.
Wings: How did you get started?
After retirement I contacted Wings of Hope. I know not everyone can do this kind of work, and my work experience gives me an advantage. Having worked at Allegan General, I was familiar with illnesses and dying so thought I would give volunteering a try. I have worked with some fantastic volunteers and staff over the years.
Wings: What motivates you to serve with Wings?
I enjoy working with the residents, making their last days as comfortable as possible. Bringing comfort to their families was also so very important to me.
Wings: What’s your favorite things about volunteering?
Being associated with an organization with a good reputation and being a part of an awesome team of professionals and volunteers. Being able to provide for people’s needs. Meeting a variety of new people.
Wings: What would you say to someone who’s thinking of volunteering?
If you’re retiring, or have a little extra time look around and see what you can do. It may not be Wings, but there is a place where you can be helpful. There are projects you can do at the Wings of Hope Hospice office throughout the year also.
Wings: What is a favorite Wings memory?
We had a man from the community that I had known since I was a teenager. It was sad to see him getting weaker every day but he was so upbeat and it was a pleasure to care for him. There are too many other memories to list. The appreciation of the residents and their families makes volunteering worth while.