Peggy Schwartz walks into the library bookstore and greets her fellow volunteers. She sets down her bag and begins to tidy the books on their shelves, making sure everything is presentable for the customers walking in.
It is obvious Schwartz is comfortable in the bookstore. She should be: She has logged about 2,500 hours there, earning her Orange County’s Excellence in Volunteerism Award, a program that was started in 2007.
Schwartz has been volunteering since 1970 and started helping out in her local libraries in El Paso, Texas.
“I think there are a lot of important life lessons to be learned by reading,” she said, explaining why she decided to volunteer for libraries.
Schwartz, who moved to Laguna Niguel in 1998, said it was natural for her to walk into the library to offer her services. She is now the president of the ,a nonprofit organization promoting the library to the community.
“My idea is to be sure things are running smoothly. I think of myself as a facilitator. I want to make sure the volunteers have what they need to do their job, that they have fun doing it,” she said.
“I feel I’m giving back to the community. I think if we contribute to the community, make it a better place to live, it’s much better for all of us.”
Schwartz doesn’t plan on quitting her volunteer work any time soon.
“Why stop?” she said, smiling.