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Volunteer (and resident) Spotlight: Gwen Watkins

Artist. Published author. Volunteer of the year. Retired X-ray technician. World traveler. Grandmother. These are just some of the things that make resident Gwen Watkins so fascinating.

Earlier this year at our community’s volunteer banquet, we had the honor of recognizing Gwen for her outstanding dedication to Presbyterian Manor. Gwen was presented with the 2024 Volunteer of the Year award!

“I volunteer at the Manor every chance I get,” said Gwen. “I deliver mail and I work in the gift shop. Outside of the Manor, I volunteer at the food pantry. I didn’t feel I was deserving of the Volunteer of the Year award. It was quite the compliment.”

Volunteering is just one of the many ways Gwen stays active.

“I enjoy meeting people and connecting and getting out of the house. I’m not a couch potato, I don’t like to sit around. I’m an avid bike rider and like to stay busy.”

At the Manor, Gwen and her friends stay busy by going out to lunch and movies together. She loves to swim and people watch and enjoys reading everything from drama to suspense and a good romance.

Her love for books also reflects in her love for writing.

An avid journaler driven by her passion to write, Gwen is constantly inspired by ideas to write about and has turned her passion into a career as a published author. “I love to write poetry. I write all the time. Often times I’m walking or riding the bike or see something on TV and it sparks an idea. All of a sudden, I have to get up and write about it,” said Gwen. “I think that writing is a God given talent. It isn’t something that you can just do.”

Many of Gwen’s books – covering poetry, suspense, a daily journal with scripture, and children’s books – are sold on Amazon. She and her cousin have also discussed writing the sequel to Raisin in the Sun, they just need to find the time.

In the free time she does have, Gwen also enjoys painting with acrylics and oil paint. She’s known for painting “Plates of Memories” as keepsakes that feature one to three faces on a platter as well as still lives, landscapes and seascapes. She even has an idea for the Manor’s next Art is Ageless competition.

When asked about her many talents and interests, Gwen offered this advice: “I encourage you to seek out your talents and use them. God gives us all talents. Seek out your God given talents and use them. Everyone has a purpose.”

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