In the past 17 years, Norma McLernon has brought joy and friendship to people with disabilities, raised money so that community pillars like the YMCA can continue to serve and has welcomed people to the Pieters Family Life Center and introduced them to a healthier way of life.
She has made serving others a full-time, volunteer job.
Through her church, Norma started the Winton Road Friendship Group when a group home opened next to Twelve Corners Presbyterian Church in Brighton. Each month for the last 17 years, Norma and others plan activities for the people who live at the home. Together they host baby showers, watch Super Bowls, create seasonal crafts and build friendships.
In 2008, she won the prestigious Gail Otto Community Service Award from Heritage Christian Services – in part because of her work with the Friendship Group but also because of her years of service at the Pieters Family Life Center, which is a community wellness center. At the center, she covered the reception desk, tabulated sign-in sheets and helped with any other task that came along, from making copies to setting up chairs. Now, she volunteers in the development office at Heritage Christian, where she documents the agency’s history and advocates for people with developmental disabilities. In just those two capacities – the Life Center and the development office – she has volunteered 136 hours. And that’s just a small sample of her busy volunteer schedule.