New Castle News

July 16, 2013

Making a Difference: Going the extra mile no big deal for caregiver, volunteer

Lugene Hudson
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — Even though some days it may seem like working a double shift, Betty Penwell cheerfully carries on.

Penwell has a full-time afternoon shift job on the custodial staff of Neshannock Memorial Elementary School, where she has worked for more than 20 years. During the day, she is caregiver for her father, Kenny, and helps her mother, Joyce, with whatever needs done at their home.

Penwell, 43, of New Castle, is pleased she can help her parents, who live in West Pittsburg.

“It means a lot that she takes time to do things for us like taking my husband to the doctor,” said Joyce Penwell, who nominated her daughter as a difference maker. “She does a lot for us. She is very caring and helps her family wherever she is needed.”

A caregiver is defined as a unpaid relative or friend of an individual who needs help with the activities of daily living.

Joyce also refers to her daughter as a volunteer.

“It takes a special person to do that.”

She may have passed on those admirable characteristics to her daughter because Joyce was a home personal care assistant for 20 years.

Others have also called on Betty in the past when there was something that required some assistance.

If neighbors or friends needed their grass cut, had an appointment, or needed groceries or their house cleaned, she was there, without any hesitation.

She even cleared snow off sidewalks for others.

“I just care about people. I’m willing to help out. If you help people, I believe that down the road you’ll be rewarded.”

Betty has her schedule arranged so that she can help her family in the morning and then go to work later.

“I never feel like any of this is a burden,” she explained. “Anyone who asks, I’ll be there to lend a helping hand, if needed.”

It comes naturally, she added.

“If someone needs help, I’ll be there for them.”