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New REACH volunteer coordinator 'excited' about role

August 06, 2009|By MARLO BARNHART

HAGERSTOWN -- Ethna Maina has joined REACH Caregivers at a time when the multifaceted agency is focusing on the future of its Faith in Action program.

Maina brings her enthusiasm for helping people to the job of leading the program during a time when more people need a helping hand.

"I'm very excited about this," Maina said of her role as volunteer coordinator at REACH.

From the offices at 140 W. Franklin St., she has been exploring how to meet the increasing needs of people in the community.

One of the biggest needs, Maina said, is volunteers who can transport the elderly and the disabled to medical appointments, grocery stores and other places.

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"We also have need for people willing to do yard work or light housework for people in need," Maina said.

Other needs might include minor repairs, reading or friendly visitation, she said.

The goal is to assist seniors and others in maintaining their independence in their homes for as long as possible.

A recent REACH newsletter included an example of a woman who couldn't reach a light fixture in her home to change a light bulb. A REACH volunteer took care of that for her.

Other times, the need might involve a trip to a doctor in Baltimore that could last six hours, including travel time.

Maina said her job is not only to attract new volunteers but to retain the ones REACH already has.

Interested volunteers may call Maina at 301-733-2371, ext. 100, for more details.

"Orientation is quick and easy," she said.

A native of Kenya, Maina was educated in England, where she attended college. She married Jackson Maina, a physician in Kenya, and accompanied him to the United States.

She has lived in Hagerstown for 15 years.

The Mainas have two daughters, Sandra, a college student in Florida, and Isabelle, who this fall will be a freshman voice student at the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts.

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