Volunteer gets hand up

Van will help her connect with Y, family

Ginger Quillen showed up for her volunteer job at the Waynesboro YMCA on Monday bundled up like it was winter, and not 70 degrees.

Somebody asked her about the extra layers of clothes, noting the warm early-spring temperatures.

“It’s cold when you’re coming down the hill on 13th Street,” responded Quillen, who had to cover the mile-long distance between her home in the Tree Streets and the Y in her wheelchair.

She’ll ride home a little more in style – in a van donated to her by Spirit Roller Ministries.

“You got me good,” said a tearful Quillen after being presented the van by Spirit Roller Ministries CEO Michael Keen today at the Y.

The Waynesboro-based Spirit Roller Ministries collects and refurbishes used medical equipment to redistribute to people with disabilities in the Valley and across Virginia. Today’s van donation was the first of its kind for the ministry.

“I got this van, and I was thinking, What am I going to do with it? I was kind of excited to be able to give it away,” said Keen, who found out that Quillen was in need of a van because the one that she has been using for years to get around had fallen into disrepair.

“Ginger was the perfect candidate because we know what she does for the community. We know what she does for other folks who are disabled. She’s such a wonderful pillar in our community that we felt she deserved some help,” Keen said.

Keen and his wife, Robin, were on hand for the surprise reveal along with several members of the staff at the Y. There were plenty of undry eyes around the circle when Quillen rolled out into the parking lot.

“It brought tears to my eyes. The thing that hit it for me was, Now I can go see my grandchildren. That makes it really phenomenal. It’s not a brand-new van or anything, but that makes it seem like a million dollars to hear her say that,” Keen said.

Quillen does “a little bit of everything, mostly what other people here don’t have time to do,” she said, “from making phone calls related to membership and events to helping with mailings.

“We’re blessed to have her services and energy here now,” said Y executive director Jeff Fife.

“My hat’s off to this group for stepping up and providing her with a van that will help her keep in touch with her family and her volunteer efforts. This is just fantastic. We’re pleased to be an extremely small part of this,” Fife said.


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