Helping others is volunteer’s joy

Gaynelle Thomas is a Portales resident and owner of The Print Shop.

Thomas serves on the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico board of directors and is involved in the New Mexico Christian Children’s Home Ladies Associates, Altrusa International Inc. of Portales and the Portales Women’s Club.

With her husband, Leroy, Thomas also delivers Meals on Wheels and, about once a month, prepares lunch for Habitat for Humanity construction volunteers.

What is the most important lesson you learned in volunteering?

I get a joy out of seeing others helped, when I can see that I’ve improved their life.

Is there a person you met while volunteering who stuck out?

I appreciate what Joyce Davis does with Habitat. She’s just willing to give and not be monetarily rewarded.

What is your favorite memory from volunteering?

In volunteering with the food bank, the different stories that you hear. I remember one at the county fair last year. The food bank had a booth there, and a little boy came up and said, “See, Mama, that’s like the backpack I got at school.” I love the backpack program at the food bank, and knowing that we’ve provided food has been the best reward.

What’s your favorite snack food?

Dried apricots.

What’s your favorite song?

“Secret Love” by Doris Day. That was popular when Leroy and I were going together.

If you could meet one person from history, who would it be?

Jesus would be the one I’d really like to have met, because I believe in him and what he stands for.

What was your favorite toy as a child?

I liked my bicycle a lot. Either that, or playing jacks.