A long time Valpo resident and volunteer, Peggy Burnell is fully immersed in her community. Giving back is what makes this lovely lady's world go round.
Born in Chicago and raised in Addison, IL, Burnell attended Addison High School where she was active in track, horticulture club, and key club.
"I was energetic and happy as a kid," Burnell said.
After high school, Burnell went to the College of DuPage and then found a job at GMAC in the truck leasing department. She worked there for seven years until she left to be a stay-at-home mom.
Burnell and her family moved to Valpo in 1992. She became active in boy scouts when her two sons were young, as well as girl scouts when her daughter was young. Burnell remains active in girl scouts to this day as a troop leader and a volunteer in the art directorship.
"I took three girls to their gold award which is very hard to do. It's equivalent to the eagle scouts," Burnell explained. "They have to do all sorts of projects, to get their gold award. These girls painted inside of Tiny Tim's Preschool and Daycare."
Burnell is also an avid volunteer at St. Agnes Adult Day Service Center in Valparaiso on the Saint Paul Catholic Church campus. The Center helps seniors with Alzheimer's and dementia.
"My daughter went to school there and I needed to do something. The service center had just been built so I took training to be a volunteer there," Burnell said. "I love it. It is my passion to work with seniors. Every day is different. We care for them and love them, make their day better, and give them dignity."
Burnell is also active in Tri Kappa, ValPLAYso, and she does reading and vision screening at Hilltop House.
"It is wonderful. I enjoy it so much. I get so much more out of it than I possibly could give," Burnell said.
In her free time, Burnell loves to quilt, cook, travel with her family, entertain, and remain active in a book club.
I'm hoping my volunteering inspires people. I hope that young people will get out into the community and do more and look at work in a different and better light," Burnell said. "There's always room for improvement and an incredible need for kindness so take time to smile and acknowledge people."