REM Award Honorees (2005) — Marilyn Ladd (REM)

by Faye Nicholson, REM’s Executive Director

The very best way to learn about REM is to get to know its people. REM is people. Extraordinary people. People who volunteer have an attitude . . . they want to help. They are willing to work. That’s why they come and offer to volunteer. They often have a vision of what life would be like if we somehow managed to all work together. Working with people who are like this is fun and rewarding.

REM’s REM Award Honoree for 2005, Marilyn Ladd, epitomizes the exemplary REM volunteer. Like every great volunteer, she has found her niche by sharing what it is she does best. Marilyn has an organized mind. Better than that. She creates an organized world. She’s fun. She has a wonderful smile. She jumps in and gets things done.

There’s another interesting thing about Marilyn. She likes working alone a lot. She’d rather do it herself than explain to someone else how to do it. And that’s okay in REM. Each person brings his or her individual self to REM; we learn together how each person fits. And it works.

And when things don’t go right and there are lots of people around, Marilyn loses her cool. And we love her anyway. REM knows people have their quirks. One person’s quirks excuse mine . . . and I need and appreciate that. I have a lot of quirks to forgive! In REM we don’t expect each other to be perfect. We don’t even want it.

I have learned a lot from Marilyn. Marilyn’s hands puts things away the same way my hands leave them everywhere. I live in my head and don’t have a clue what my hands are doing. Marilyn lives in the physical world and makes it habitable for me. I need Marilyn. And she needs me. Each of us has a piece of what it takes to build a community where people thrive.

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