He counts out pills at the free clinic

Helping hands - Saluting volunteers

Helping hands - Saluting volunteers

April 27, 2006

Name: Carroll Pryor

Age: 81

Address: Hagerstown

Occupation, or former occupation if retired: Pryor is retired. He was working for Fairchild when he was called upon to serve in the U.S. Army during World War II. Afterward he worked for 29 years for Brandt Cabinet in Hagerstown, followed by 13 years working security for Mack Trucks. He retired about seven years ago.

Where do you volunteer and what do you do there? Community Free Clinic, 249 Mill St., Hagerstown. Pryor counts medications and places them in appropriate, marked containers. "I'm the pill pusher, that's what they call me."

What prompted you to begin volunteering? "I just like to do the work. I like the people I volunteer with - that's a big help."


Your biggest reward as a volunteer? "My big reward is helping people. I like to help people. I'm a people lover."

What impact has volunteering had on your life? Volunteering has allowed Pryor to stay active, which he said is important.

Wanting to stay active, Pryor previously volunteered aboard an ambulance with Community Rescue Service, with the United Way and with the hospital's escort service, helping patients get from place to place.

He now volunteers solely at the clinic, donating his time for several hours two or three times a week.

Robin Roberson, executive director of the Community Free Clinic, said volunteers are always needed.

"We are a volunteer-driven organization," she said. "Volunteers do many tasks. There's something here to suit everyone."

Anyone with an interest in staying busy should be able to do so at the clinic; the number of patient visits increased from 11,213 in 2004 to 16,620 last year.

Anyone interested in volunteering at the clinic may call 301-733-9234.

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