Volunteer profiles

Called to community action
Nathalie Moore is the kind of person who can be counted on to get the job done. She likes to stay active and help others. That’s why after a long career, she’s spending her retirement years involved in making a difference in our community.

In addition to daily trips to the exercise pool, time with family and coordinating speakers for the Learning In Retirement program at UW Oshkosh, she devotes one afternoon a month to delivering books to Park View Health Center in Oshkosh through the library’s popular Home Delivery Service. The service provides books and other items to residents who can’t physically visit the library.  

“In the beginning, it was kind of in and out,” she says recalling her first few months of deliveries. “And then, I got to know Irene.”

Moore wasn’t expecting a new friendship to bloom from a routine drop off, but the two women have forged a special bond. “She is such a special, special lady, and she’s so much fun,” Moore says, “she waits for me to come, and I can’t wait to get there.”

“The first time I met her, she gave me a hug when I left; and she has a big smile on her face the minute she sees me.”

From the happiness in her voice, it’s easy to feel the admiration Moore holds for her 96-year-old friend. “You don’t usually have role models when you get to my age, but I think if I can be like she is, if I live that long, I will be blessed.”

Service with a smile
A lifelong library fan, retired German Professor Al Lareau also enjoys the support system, social interaction and sense of purpose that comes from volunteering. As a newcomer to Oshkosh more than 20 years ago, he’s been using the library since “day one” and believes it’s a vital part of the community.

Although Lareau has worn several hats as a volunteer, one of his recent projects involved helping with the Friends of the Library’s Summer Block Party.

“Mary Madden, Laura Coppage and I organized the Flea Market, and that was great fun,” he recalls, “to work as a team, to bring in materials, and then the response that night was phenomenal.”

“People were so thrilled with that [Flea Market]. Many people came into the library who hadn’t been here before, and you could tell they were so excited. Lots of people were thrilled with the record sales, and you could just see the stars in their eyes as they were paying for all these treasures,” he says.   

Lareau enjoys using his skills and expertise to make our community an even better place to live and work, but he’s quick to point out how much he’s gained from the experience.

“It’s really helped me get a better feel for the community of Oshkosh beyond the field of work… also to learn about what other people and organizations are doing. There’s a lot of opportunity for teamwork here.”

Despite an active schedule, Lareau still finds time to browse the library’s shelves every week. “I find it just a very inviting space for seeing other people, making contacts; knowing what’s going on in town. We don’t have many spaces like that in Oshkosh.”

If you’re interested in supporting the library with your time and talents, click here and find out how to get started.