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Fay: Only too happy to help someone else out

The power of place: through volunteering


Alice Fay has lived in the South Burlingame neighborhood for 36 years. She is married and has three children, ages 35, 32 and 30. by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Alice Fay.

As her children were growing up, Fay focused her volunteer efforts on what they were doing and their interests. Like other parents, she has done her fair share of helping with the Little League, the PTA, teaching sunday school, leading a Brownie Girl Scout troop and Cub Scout den and volunteering in the classrooms. Now, with retirement, Fay gets to choose where she wants to help out.

Today, Fay volunteers at the Multnomah Village Meals on Wheels People — Multnomah Village Center in Southwest Portland (formerly known as the Multnomah Village Loaves & Fishes Center). Once a week, Fay delivers a warm noontime meal to some very appreciative homebound seniors. When a substitute driver is needed, Fay is always happy to help out because she understands how important the deliveries are to homebound seniors.

“Alice is a fabulous volunteer and a wonderful person. She brings a charm and grace to everything she does,” says Multnomah Village Center Manager Jody Grant. “Her reliability is legend and her leadership is calm, thoughtful and engaging just as she is.”

Fay is also a driver for Neighborhood House Multnomah Arts Center Aging Services and Senior Center volunteer medical transportation program that helps brings seniors to their medical appointments.

Once a month Fay joins a group of volunteers from St. Clare Parish in the Markham neighborhood when they take their monthly turn to help prepare, serve, and cleanup for noontime meals served Monday through Friday at the Multnomah Meals on Wheels Center. She also pitches in to help with the St. Clare Parish June Junque and Jewels garage sale, Christmas Giving Tree program, funeral ministry, multiple Red Cross drives, St. Andre Bessette suppers and is working on parish preparations for St. Clare’s centennial celebration.

Passionate about genealogy, Fay volunteers for a web-based Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness Group. She travels to the River View Cemetery on Southwest Taylors Ferry Road, photographs gravesites and then emails them to people from across the country and around the world tracing ancestors who had lived in Portland. She also scans the Multnomah County Library newspaper microfilms to find a gem of information for someone researching their family tree. Still working on her own family tree, Fay is amazed how complete strangers have helped her with her own research. So, she is only too happy to help someone else out.

Grateful that she can still help out, Fay says she is “happy to be part of the collective, powerful volunteer force that helps run our little part of the world.”

“Look at yourself and know what your strengths are,” says Fay. “Don’t hide them; share a little of that with an effort or cause that is special to you."

She reminds us that today with so many budget cuts, “churches, schools, and community groups really need your help to make a difference."

Every day, hundreds of volunteers make our community a better place to live. This column features volunteers whose energy and commitment promote a sense of community and inspire us.

Do you know a volunteer who deserves some recognition? Send the name and contact information for the volunteer with details about his or her work to Linda Doyle at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .