Retired couple recognized for volunteering more than 5,000 hours to City of Fresno

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- If you come to Fresno City Hall on a Thursday you'll find Madeline Gartin at the front desk. She's ready to answer questions, help you get to the right floor or even give you a tour. She's been volunteering for the last 17 and a half years and she said, she's loved every second.

"When people come in and they are a little confused and you can pretty well tell when they come in and I will approach them and help them," said Madeline.

She is only one half of the dynamic duo that is Madeline and army veteran volunteer Clifford Gartin. They're both retired and have been married for 63 years. While she helps out at city hall, he assists people at the Fresno Yosemite International Airport.

"At the airport, I am at the information desk," said Clifford. "I give them information anywhere from, where is the toilet, to where is the rental car, to where is my baggage to how come I missed my flight."

This couples passion is volunteering, and together they've completed more than 5,000 hours. Their astounding feat now getting recognized by the City. They also got a lifetime achievement award and their own day. November 8th now recognized as Clifford and Madeline Day in the City of Fresno.

"Being alive and being able to do this, that is the reward," said Clifford.

"To be recognized like this wasn't our goal in our volunteering, in fact, it was the furthest thing from our minds," said Madeline.

Their list of volunteering jobs is extensive ranging from the school district to CHP to the veterans home. Along the way, HandsOn Central California has helped give them volunteering opportunities.

"These individuals have volunteered a very long time, but they are vibrant, they are healthy, they're engaged," said Carol Davies, the Executive Director of HandsOn Central California.

They hope others will follow their lead.

"If you bend over and pick up a piece of paper and put it in the trash, you just volunteered," said Clifford.
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