William O'Reilly of Maryland City and Edward Laird of...

VOLUNTEER SPOTLIGHT

March 20, 1994|By Kevin Harrison

William O'Reilly of Maryland City and Edward Laird of Crofton

Volunteer work: Mr. O'Reilly and Mr. Laird are trained volunteers at the O'Malley Senior Center, helping supervise the Senior Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program (HICAP) and assisting people with concerns about Medicare, Medigap and health insurance.

Mr. O'Reilly's comments: "I get a lot of satisfaction out of helping people. A lot of people don't know what they have coming to them in terms of benefits. They don't know how to go about handling medical things. We ease their burden and help them learn about their benefits.

"The thing is, as you grow older, is to keep yourself busy. If you're capable of doing something, do it. Let's face it, we all have hidden talents."

Mr. Laird's comments: "When I was 65 and switched to Medicare, I didn't know anything about it. I didn't know where to go, didn't know what to do. Then this group came to the Crofton library to tell us about the program [HICAP]. I thought if I could help anybody, I would. It's an education.

"It's a pleasure to know that it takes frustration and headaches from people who don't understand. We have private numbers to call so we can cut through the bureaucracy."

About the volunteers: Mr. O'Reilly was manager for White Consolidated Industries before retiring. In 1970, he retired from the Navy after 24 years. He is also a volunteer tax counselor at the Pascal Senior Center and the Maryland City Library.

Mr. Laird, a retired Amtrak supervisor, is active in the Crofton Association of Retired Persons as chairman of social events.

About the program: HICAP is a free service available to county residents, providing insurance counseling, information and seminars about Medicare, Medigap, private health insurance and long-term insurance. Appointments can be scheduled at any of the five senior centers in the county.

For more information, contact Susan Knight, 222-6825.

"Volunteer Spotlight" is compiled by Kevin Harrison. To recommend someone, call the Anne Arundel Bureau, 315-8911, any time or fax information to 315-8916 or mail them to: The Sun for Anne Arundel, 8131 Ritchie Highway, Pasadena 21122.

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