Michigan Blood Celebrates 99-Year-Old Volunteer

Posted at 6:36 PM, Jan 14, 2013
and last updated 2013-01-14 18:50:52-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich.– Just shy of 99, Anne Wepman hasn’t missed a beat when it comes to volunteering at Michigan Blood. Wepman has been donating her time every Monday at the facility since 1970.

“This is one of the best places to volunteer,” said Wepman. “Giving of yourself, is so important. Monday is my best day of the week.”

Wepman, who was born in 1914, has spent her entire life in Grand Rapids. She has lived through both world wars, the Great Depression and the first man walking on the moon. She says what has not changed during all those years is her passion for “paying it forward”. In fact, Wepman calls it her secret to staying young.

“It keeps you young because you’re with people and it just makes you feel good,” she explained. “I just hope I can keep up for a little bit longer.”

This Monday was an extra special day for Wepman. Her co-workers at Michigan Blood surprised her with a birthday cake, and sang “Happy Birthday” to the longtime volunteer.

“She’s very optimistic, very positive,” said daughter Barbara Wepman, who also volunteers at Michigan Blood. “She loves everybody and she loves people.”

“She really cares about our donors and they can tell and appreciate that,” added Donna Martorano, Volunteer Manager at Michigan Blood. “We get people who are blood donors who come back specifically on Monday afternoons, between noon and 4pm, just to come and visit with Anne.”

Wepman turns 99 on January 23rd. She still has her own apartment, even though she gave up her drivers license at 95. She has no plans to stop her volunteer work anytime soon.

“I enjoy whatever I do,” said Wepman. “Being with people is the most important. If you just sit around, it’s not good.”