99­ Year ­Old Volunteer Lives to Help Others

For 99­ year ­old Lola Crawford, the secret to a long, happy life is helping others. And she's still at it.

Age hasn't stopped Crawford from spending many of her days volunteering.
On Tuesday, she stood at a table at the Fredericton Community Kitchen filling hundreds of take­out containers with dinner rolls and casserole to be served to students and others in the city.
She also serves on many committees at her church. Until last year she did door ­to­ door canvassing in her neighbourhood.

"It's natural to me. I have always done it."

Lola is looking forward to many more happy and healthy years. She has no plans to slow down and says she will continue to volunteer as long as she is able.

"If something happens, and I have to stop, I understand. But I plan not to be bitter in my old age," she said.

She's never smoked, she said, but she enjoys the occasional glass of wine before supper. Red or white?

"Whatever's there."

A positive attitude helps too, she said.

"Don't gossip. Keep busy. I have lived my whole life, in various ways, helping people."

Many people half her age might have trouble keeping up with her schedule. She wakes early, gets dressed and puts on her make­up and jewellery. Then she enjoys a healthy breakfast of fruit, toast and cereal.

"All­Bran to keep you going," she said.

It sets her up for a busy day that involves lots of people and activities.
On a good day with the roads clear, you may see her driving her purple sedan to and from her volunteer activities. Crawford lives independently at her North side Fredericton home and continues to do all of her own housework.

"If you don't do anything then you lose it."

She's kept busy every day since she retired, at 69, from a convenience store that used to be open in Nashwaaksis.

The key to longevity, she said is to keep moving.

"I try to walk every day but if I am busy I don't," she said.

She also loves to spend time with her many friends and family members. Lola celebrated her 99th birthday earlier this month.

"I know I am 99 but I don't think I am."

She's the life of any party and is still quite a dancer, her friend Doreen Armstrong said.
She doesn't watch much TV. Instead she enjoys reading, she said. Sometimes she will visit friends at their homes.

"Not as much as I used to because many of them have died."

The Daily Gleaner

andrew bedford