CONNEAUT LAKE — Joyce Minnis is a self-proclaimed "people person." As such, she spends many hours volunteering her services in various activities to help people.
She currently volunteers at her church, the Crawford County Fair and two historical societies.
Minnis is chairman of the special needs department of the photography and crafts department at the fair and has worked in other departments in the past. She laughs that she kind of grew up at the fair, as her father was one of the charter members of West Mead 2 Volunteer Fire Department and, as such, she and her sister were "always at the fair."
She was involved first with the home economics department and with 4-H before her current role. She enjoys fair week and the weeks leading up to the fair, noting she has a lot of fond memories of the fair and the people involved over her many years.
Although the fair has changed over the years, she still loves it. She misses the many local people once involved but still believes the fair is a wonderful opportunity for people to showcase their talents.
While the fair is mostly a once-a-year event, she still has year-round commitments. She is active at Stone United Methodist Church where she helps with funeral dinners, the flower committee, worship council and "whatever is needed."
"I do more than some but not as much as others," she said with a laugh, adding she responds when needed.
One of her biggest enjoyments over the years has been working in The Baldwin-Reynolds House Museum at Mount Hope of the Crawford County Historical Society. She answered a newspaper advertisement calling for volunteers during the bicentennial year (1976) and fell in love with the house as well as the history.
She said today she "responds to Josh (Sherretts) when he calls," referring to the director of the county historical society. She said today she works with archives when needed, noting Sherretts' wife, who is the paid archivist, is pregnant and when she needs help, Josh calls on Joyce, who quickly responds.
"It's interesting," she said of the archiving. "It's very educational."
She also is a member of the Conneaut Lake Area Historical Society, where she serves a docent for the society's museum when called and helps wherever she can. A Conneaut Lake resident, she also is a retired from Conneaut School District where she was an elementary teacher. She has a lot of interest in that area as well.
As a retiree, Minnis said she enjoys volunteering.
"I don't like to sit around," she said, noting she doesn't like to get bored. At the same time, she said she doesn't "like long term" commitments, so she likes to go "as needed," rather than that commitment for a dedicated time slot.
"I don't like having to be somewhere every week at a certain time," she said.
For her, volunteering is a perfect combination of matching her interest and skills with the need for help while still allowing her to enjoy her retirement and not having to respond to a daily schedule.