'It keeps me going': Arlington Heights volunteer logs more than 3,100 hours at senior center
Arlington Heights resident Anne Mura is something of a jack of all trades when it comes to community service.
A longtime volunteer at the Arlington Heights Senior Center, the 82-year-old Mura helps people evaluate and choose Medicare options through Illinois' Senior Health Insurance Program and guides them through the enrollment process.
During income tax season, she helps clients at the center prepare and file their tax returns through an AARP Foundation program.
Since Mura began working at the center in 2009, she's logged more than 3,100 hours there -- an accomplishment that, in part, led to her being named one of Arlington Heights' annual Heart of Gold honorees earlier this year.
"Anne is a valuable resource for us," Senior Center Manager Tracey Colagrossi said. "She is a wealth of knowledge."
Mura's service isn't limited to the senior center. She's also a volunteer computer instructor at the Arlington Heights Memorial Library.
Mura feels the work is meaningful.
"There's a lot of need out there," she said.
A New York native, Mura had worked as a buyer for department stores and then in merchandising. She began volunteering after retiring professionally.
Whereas many people get overwhelmed dealing with bureaucracies like Medicare, it's a breeze for Mura.
"It's not difficult once you get used to the system," she said.
Colagrossi describes Mura as patient and kind.
"And (she) has a nice, dry sense of humor, which we all enjoy here," Colagrossi said.
Mura typically is at the senior center one or two days a week, depending on the time of year. Her library programs are more sporadic.
"I've very much enjoyed it," she said of her work. "It keeps me going. I look forward to it."
Mura dabbled with a few volunteer opportunities before settling on her current projects. She advises people looking to volunteer to do the same.
"Try things until you find what you like best," she said.