Mary Bono, 90, a resident of Presbyterian Village North, is volunteering her time and using her talents to serve others and has been since she was a young girl. She is going strong and staying active, and she believes that this purpose helps her maintain a sense of well-being. Giving back is something that always came naturally for Bono, who views the opportunity to serve others as a chance to pay forward the goodness she experienced in her own life.
“I’ve been playing the piano since I was six years old, so I volunteer my talents as a pianist on many occasions,” said Bono. “From playing in church to providing music for seniors in need of skilled nursing care or for memorial services of loved ones passed, I have spent 84 years playing the piano for other people. It brings me a lot of joy seeing people appreciate the music I play. I have been very blessed throughout my lifetime, and I view volunteer work as my chance to be a blessing to someone else. When you have a strong religious faith, you feel a desire and need to give back to others who are not as fortunate as yourself or who just need some help. I enjoy sharing my time and talents to make a positive impact on the lives of other people.”
Bono has also been actively involved in church projects throughout her childhood and adult life. She eventually got a bookkeeping job for the East Dallas Christian Church, where she worked for 10 to 12 years. The skills she learned there served as a foundation for other kinds of volunteer work. When Bono and her husband lived in the Rio Grande Valley in McAllen, they spent 15 years volunteering at the Rio Grande Regional Hospital, where she did bookkeeping. In 1977 when they came back to Dallas, she volunteered more bookkeeping services at Network-Ministries Communities food pantry in Richardson, as well as at the Baylor Family Health Center in Richardson. Now, she volunteers at Presbyterian Village North, assisting with maintenance of the library, bookkeeping for the community’s volunteer-led store and playing the piano for memorial services or for the entertainment of seniors living in health services. Previously, she volunteered for 10 years as the administrative assistant for the spiritual life department.
“The Pantry at PVN is a store with low-cost personal care and food items for residents or employees,” said Bono. “It serves as a convenience for residents in health services and employees who need something during work hours. The Pantry is all volunteer-led, from the people who stock and organize the shelves to those who run the registers. My role is to maintain the books. We feel the store is a wonderful service for those living and working in our 63-acre community. We have everything people might need from freshly made bistro snacks to quick and easy frozen entrees to greeting cards, snacks, beverages, personal care items and more.”
“Volunteering keeps me active as I age,” said Bono. “I enjoy having the ability to give back to others, as it provides me with a sense of value and purpose. I like waking up every day knowing I have something to do that makes a difference, big or small. It feels good to be a part of something that is beyond yourself. I actively recruit other people to join me in the volunteer work and am a good saleswoman for the benefits of giving back. It’s important to help others who need extra support. You never know when you might be in their position, and you’ll be thankful when someone helps you.”
“While some people are philanthropic during the months of November and December, Mary looks for ways to give back year round,” said Lisa Englander, life enrichment manager for Presbyterian Village North. “She is a true inspiration to everyone at PVN, and we appreciate her diligence. She ensures we have no shortage of volunteers when we need help. I’ve seen her actively recruit other residents to assist in her efforts. We are fortunate to have Mary contribute to our community.”