Todd Beard a passionate volunteer handyman for Senior Services

Todd Beard, of Midland, got some pretty good advice when he decided to retire after 36 years as a chemical engineer at Dow Chemical.

“A co-worker at Dow retired a year or so before I did. He was a handyman volunteer with Senior Services, and he asked me if I was interested in doing the same thing,” Beard said. “He thought I would be good at it.”

Beard, 66, didn’t know anything about Senior Services of Midland County at the time.

“I had never heard of Senior Services, to be honest with you.”

That was about four years ago. Today, Beard is a volunteer handyman with the agency, whose many goals include helping local seniors with minor projects around the house.

Beard, who lives on the north side of Midland with his wife, Marty, said he is glad he volunteered for the program.

“It is quite rewarding,” he said. “You’re providing a significant service. … We forget that you don’t have to go far to see significant need in the county.”

About once a week, Beard will make stops at Midland County homes where a senior needs some work done. The projects are screened and set up by agency employee Kris Recker, who makes sure the job qualifies for the program.

“Most of the work we do is safety related,” Beard said, such as adding hand rails, grab bars, stairway improvements or smoke detectors.

Beard said he enjoys meeting with seniors and helping them out.

“One time, I put in smoke detectors for a gentleman who was 99 years old. He wanted to show me a picture of the ship he served on in the war. … He was quite anxious to share that with me.

“We have a lot of interesting conversations,” Beard said. “You go there to do the work, but we have a chance to chat. It’s a lot of fun.”

Recker said Beard is well liked by the people he helps.

“He’s definitely one who represents the agency well,” she said. “I’ve had comments that they appreciate his expertise and professionalism.”

Beard also helps Senior Services by volunteering for its transportation service. That program uses volunteer drivers to help seniors get to a doctor’s appointment or perhaps to a local store.

Both programs allow seniors to keep living at home and on their own.

Recker said the handyman program is not something you’ll find in every community, and her agency is always looking for good volunteers.

Potential volunteers can call Senior Services of Midland County at 989-633-3700.


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