Volunteer Spirt: Morris never says ‘no’ to helping Capital Activity Center

Wayne Morris has been volunteering as a board member for the Capital City Activity Center for the past eight years. (David Hamilton | The State Journal)

Frankfort resident Wayne Morris’ philosophy when it comes to helping out at the Capital City Activity Center is straightforward: Ask, and you shall receive.

“When they need something, I never say ‘no,'” Morris said.

The former owner of independent drug store Wayne’s Pharmacy has also put a stake in the community through his volunteer work, which includes the last eight years volunteering as a board member of the activity center. Overseeing the center’s facilities committee, he handles many of its primary maintenance projects.

For example, right after Morris sold his pharmacy last year, he noticed that the activity center’s lighting needed improvement in a couple of main rooms. As a result, he invested his own money that could have gone toward any sort of development project and helped get new lighting for the many seniors who frequent the center, Assistant Director Jim Griffin said.

“It’s just so crucial to be able to call somebody and have them come help you,” Griffin said. “He always does that. He’s just absolutely wonderful.”

Morris, who has lived in Frankfort for more than 40 years, said his time with the center began much like any of his work does: He was asked to sit on the board, and he rarely says “no” when someone asks him to help.

He has been the impetus for projects such as replacing flooring, fixing the drainage system and, recently, cleaning out a large area above the building’s drop ceiling where birds had nested. Along with Griffin and a few inmate workers, Morris cleaned the area and installed new installation, Griffin said.

“He gave up his weekend, basically, to do that, and he wanted to make sure the guys got a really good meal to eat after that,” Griffin said.

Speaking of the many inmates Morris has worked with at the center, he called them “a blessing” for the center and said he has enjoyed talking with them. Their interactions are akin to a two-way street, he said, with Morris both giving advice while also gaining a new perspective.

Another of Morris’ recent undertakings has been transporting food from God’s Pantry in Lexington using a new box truck the activity center recently purchased. The truck can transport up to 4,000 pounds of food at one time.

Morris said that while food is loaded in the truck with a forklift, unloading has to be done manually.

“You don’t know what tired is until you’ve unloaded two 600-pound boxes of watermelons,” Morris said, laughing.

From driving seniors to the doctor to improving parking-lot conditions, Morris has answered the call of many of the center’s needs over the years. During that time, one of his greatest joys has been watching the activity center’s development.

“What I’ve enjoyed most is watching the center grow,” he said. “The personnel we have are just fantastic, and just watching what it can be and what it will be in the future” is great.

As one of many volunteers on which the center relies heavily, Morris has played a big role in that same growth he has witnessed.

Both Griffin and Capital City Activity Center Director Marchele Jenkins credited Morris for being selfless and always willing to help out when needed. Jenkins said much of what Morris does occurs “behind the scenes,” contributing in ways that are not always overt but are important to the center’s development. She specifically noted the work Morris and the rest of the facilities committee have done.

“They have allowed us to make the center look different,” Jenkins said. “Up to date, cleanliness — there’s a lot of things behind the scenes that he does that people don’t even realize he’s part of that group that does that.”

Morris said Frankfort has always treated him well, so he feels that what he does for the community is simply his way of giving back.

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