On September 10 Lucy Mehl of Milford opened an envelope addressed from the State Office of Volunteerism, a division of the Delaware Health and Social Services. Inside she found a letter written from Governor Jack Markell congratulating Ms. Mehl on her selection to receive a 2013 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Award. On Tuesday, October 22 in Dover, Lucy will be recognized with 25 other individuals and organizations as exemplifying the spirit of volunteerism in Delaware.
Known throughout Milford and Kent and Sussex Counties for the services she provides as a volunteer, Lucy dedication is not limited to one service but many including the Milford Garden Club, Milford Senior Center, Milford Lions Club, Delaware Hospice, Veterans of Foreign Wars and Prime Hook Wildlife Refuge. She also volunteers with several faith-based organizations including the First Presbyterian Church and the Seaside Jewish Community Temple.
Nominating Lucy for the Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Award, Barbara Lister wrote to the selection committee that “Lucy is known throughout Milford, by almost everyone. The clubs, organizations and community have many different challenges for any volunteer, and Lucy accepts these challenges and pleasantly works with everyone.” Ms. Lister met Lucy through Seaside Jewish Community Temple where Barbara was a caretaker for an elderly women Ms. Mehl visited on a regular basis.
As part of the nominating process Lister collected letters from the Milford Senior Center, Milford Lions Club and Prime Hook Wildlife Refuge asking the groups to talk about Lucy’s impact on their organizations. Each letter shared her faithful dedication and desire to care for others through all that she does. One letter from Prime Hook Wildlife Refuge Manager Arthur Coppola states that Mehl’s volunteer efforts “exemplifies her above and beyond public service initiative.
“Since 2004, Ms. Mehl has accumulated more than 1,400 hours of volunteer work to aid Prime Hook Wildlife Refuge in conducting its mission of plant and wildlife conservation,” wrote Coppola. “She has displayed exemplary public service, including contributions at the annual Horseshoe Crab Festival…weekly gardening and landscaping services at the refuge, participation in the volunteer patrol program, leads environmental education programs for students…and helps to answer phones.”
A former school principal for special needs children and speech pathologist, Lucy built a career on helping others. She tributes her love of helping others to her parents that involved the entire family in volunteering for multiple community groups as she grew up.
“My parents came to the United States in 1939 to escape Hitler’s Germany and I think they were so appreciate to be here that they wanted to give back any way that they could,” commented Mehl. “Volunteering became part of who my brother and I became.”
On Tuesday, October 22 Lucy will be recognized for her selection as a 2013 Governor’s Outstanding Volunteer Award recipient during an awards dinner hosted by Governor Jack Markell.
“I was really surprised, I still cannot believe it,” commented Mehl. “Volunteering is just part of my nature, I never thought about it. I am still overwhelmed by the selection and proud to represent Milford.”