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Thursday April 24th 2014

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Mary’s Mission


By Jeremy Morrison

One Volunteer, Countless Blessings

Folks at the St. Joseph Medical Clinic describe longtime volunteer Mary Bond in a variety of ways. They call her “the back bone of this building,” a “jewel” and “absolutely key.”

“I’ve been around here as long as dirt,” laughed Bond.

The volunteer mans the clinic’s front desk. She checks in patients and makes sure the ship is sailing smoothly.

Doctors in the back of the clinic took a stab at the number of volunteer hours the 76-year-old is logging these days. They guessed it was around 900 hours a year.

Up front, Bond scans a log sheet. She’s guessing it was around 1300.

“I don’t write ’em all down,” she said.

Bond began volunteering at the clinic shortly after it opened. She worked with her late husband at the same post she works still.

“He had a desk here,” she recalled. “He’d greet the returns, and I’d take the new patients.”

In a former life, Bond was a housewife. She raised five children and lived abroad—the family spent a stint in West Africa—as her husband provided medical services in other countries.

“One time, he wrote and said, ‘Sell the cars and rent the house, we’re going to live in New Delhi,’” Bond laughed.

After retiring, the couple wanted to contribute to the community. They felt called to help those that needed it most.

“It’s not what you do in mass, it’s what we do for the people we meet today,” Bond explained. “You know, we’re called to be here for them.”

The volunteer appreciates that her colleagues at the clinic feel the same way. They want to be there, they want to help.

“They’ll say, ‘Mary, what else do I have to do but go home and sit around the house?’” she smiled. “To me, that’s a good answer.”