Marsha Whisler of the
Fraternal Order of Eagles: Ladies Auxiliary 2353
When many West Virginians move into retirement one of their primary goals is to enjoy life. Many retired West Virginians also seek more purpose and have a desire to make change within their community. Throughout the few years that we have recognized volunteers across our region, we have come across many retirees that have “come out of retirement” to serve their community. This was the case for Marsha Whisler. Marsha is an avid member of the North View community who loves her Dallas Cowboys and loves helping her community. She was invited to a meeting of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Order of Eagles in Clarksburg, and she enjoyed the sense of comradery and joined the organization soon thereafter.
Marsha’s life story has an added layer that makes her accomplishments extra special. As she got older and moved into retirement, Marsha lost her vision to the point where she is no legally blind. But that has not stopped her from contributing to her community and pushing forward with her support for her fellow West Virginians. Marsha is very self-sufficient, one can see that when they step into her home. Although she does rely on a few very good friends, her blindness has not slowed her down.
Marsha is a member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Fraternal Order of Eagles 2353. Her service to her community is unmatched by most. She uses the skills that she developed before losing her vision to create warmth and opportunity for the homeless in our area. She does that through creating plastic mats to separate the cold, wet ground from the bodies of those that may not have a place to sleep at night.
Her plastic mats are hand “crocheted” recycled plastic shopping bags that have been cut into strips. She weaves each mat carefully and always with love. Creating hundreds of mats over the years has given her a sense of purpose, one that provides her with a special place in our community.
"I started creating these mats because it provides me something to do while creating something useful for the homeless," said Whisler. "I needed to find a way to occupy my time, and I always loved to crochet. Once I was introduced to making plastic mats, I was hooked and have not stopped since."
“Marsha is a wonderful example of many retirees in our community. She not only volunteers her time for the community through her involvement with the Ladies Auxiliary, but she also creates a handmade gift for the homeless in our area,” stated Marisa Matyola of WBOY-TV. “Her dedication is an amazing testament to her strength and resilience. I am glad to have met her, and I am glad to help honor her.”
"With the increasing drug issues in our region, homelessness will only continue to skyrocket. The Order of Eagles Ladies Auxiliary through members like Marsha, helps provide some comfort to those that don't have a place to lay their heads at night," stated Tim Miley, owner of The Miley Legal Group. “I genuinely appreciate what Marsha does for her community, even though she is a Cowboys fan.”
To learn more about the Ladies Auxiliary 2353 of the Fraternal Order of Eagles, visit their Facebook page by searching “FOE Clarksburg, WV Auxiliary 2353.”
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The Celebrating Volunteers awardees receive public recognition for not only themselves but their organization. They also receive a $500 contribution to the organization they represent in their name. Marisa Matyola of WBOY TV and Tim Miley of The Miley Legal Group work together to select the awardees from the many nominations received from the public. The volunteer selected will have demonstrated their commitment to an organization through volunteerism and support.
“I am an avid supporter of volunteerism in our communities," Miley stated. "The Celebrating Volunteers program is a way that we can recognize the hard work and dedication of individuals across our region.”
We look forward to recognizing a number of worthy individuals while giving their organizations a part of the spotlight. The program will continue recognizing volunteers throughout the coming year. In order to nominate a volunteer to receive this award, please click on the Celebrating Volunteers logo.