Aloha! My name is Marie Wolf, and I feel blessed to have been with Ohana 100 for the past 10 months.

I am proud to say that I was a stay at home mom for 20 years. When I decided to return to the work force I worked retail, and retired after 28 years. During those years I was very fortunate to have babysat my 9 nine beautiful grandchildren before they entered school. I myself am a mother of 4; 3 daughters and 1 son. I became a widow last July and found myself in need of activities to fill my day. I was introduced to Ohana 100 through the Amherst Senior Center and had no idea how this program was going to fill so much more than just my time. This program has filled my heart with so much joy, especially when the children respond to me with loving hugs and excitement to hear more stories.

In addition to having joined Ohana 100, I have been volunteering as a 6th grade religious education teacher at St. Christopher’s Parish for 29 years.  I am also a lector for Sunday masses at St.Christopher Church as well. I enjoy volunteering at Williamsville North High School (where 2 of my grandchildren attend school) as a snack bar mom. Every Wednesday at Lindbergh Elementary, I work at the Lindy Mart, where students redeem tickets they have earned for good behavior. While I am there, I end my day helping my daughter in her 3rd grade classroom with any chores or preparation that needs to be done.

 As a mother of four children, I know the importance of encouraging children to read. When my children were little I was a library volunteer in their school.  Some of my fondest memories is snuggling and reading booksto my children as part of our daily bedtime routine. Some of my favoritre books I like to read to the children that we visit each week are Go Away Dog, Oliver the Elephant, and Carlos and the Librarian. My younger listeners enjoy pop-up books. I like to pass these books around after I read to let the children feel and see the pop up characters. I watch the expressions and excitement as they see the characters “come alive” and jump off the pages.  It is so satisfying to see the older listeners show interest as I spark their imagination and curiosity with a good book. Even the babies respond with looks of interest and alertness as I read. Not only does my heart melt with the children’s responses, but it also melts when the refugee mothers respond with body language that demonstrates excitement to my reading even though they can’t speak English. 

I love being an Ohana 100 volunteer! It is very satisfying and rewarding to be able to share the gift of reading with all the precious children and their families!