Retired Presby team member returns to give back as volunteer

March 30, 2018

Mary Ellen Thomas continued to hear the call of Presby and its mission after she retired and decided to give back with her time.


In 1999, Mary Ellen Thomas started working in the accounting office at Presby’s Inspired Life. Over the next 17 years, she grew within the organization, becoming a building manager in 2009 for one of our affordable housing communities. To say she loved her work would be an understatement.

But, as with most people, the lure of retirement was strong, so when the opportunity came for Thomas to leave the workaday world, she jumped at the chance. Soon, however, she realized that there was something missing in her day — Presby and its mission. Thomas returned to Spring Mill, a Presby community in Lafayette Hill, and inquired about being a volunteer.

“Originally, I signed up to just fill volunteer opportunities as they became available,” Thomas sid. “But then I realized how much I enjoyed working at the reception desk, and I decided to take on a more permanent volunteering role.”

Now Thomas can be found at least one day a week at the desk, where she catches up with the residents and her former co-workers. When you enter Spring Mill, Thomas’ smile can be seen from a mile away.

“Presby’s Inspired Life is like a part of my family,” said Thomas. “I know all of the residents and team members and what is going on in their lives. It’s a deep, personal connection that goes far beyond just spending my day at the desk greeting visitors to the campus.”

When asked why she would choose to volunteer her time for her former employer during her retirement, Thomas said, “Presby’s mission is one that has always been a part of who I am. As a team member, it gave me so many opportunities and enabled me to aid some wonderful individuals. Now I’m enjoying giving back to the organization and those it serves.”