A 90-year-old woman volunteers at a senior center making children’s clothes

B.O.S.S. Retirement Solutions is proud to sponsor the Treasure Valley Silver Awards

By: Idahonews.com

BOISE, Idaho (CBS2) — 90-year-old Mary Lou Hay says the key to a happy retirement is staying active.

“It’s most important, there’s gardening, there’s crafting, if you’re not crafty you can volunteer, it gives back way more than you get,” said Mary Lou. “It gives you a purpose to get up, get dressed and do something. There’s so much out there that will keep you physically, but more importantly, mentally well.”

Mary Lou has had a fulfilling life with three children, seven grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren.

“They are the loves of my life,” said Mary Lou. “They’re so respectful and caring and loving and you don’t always have that.”

For the last 82 years, Mary Lou has been sewing clothes for her family. In particular, she enjoys making baby clothes, a skill her daughter has helped her turn into a business.

“I’ve been sewing since I was 8-years-old,” said Mary Lou. “I started my business with my daughter. We took my name, Mary Lou, and her name, Luanne, and that became Lulu’s Kidswear.”

Mary Lou says she loves making baby clothes and is open to making custom orders.

“The Idaho ones are very popular,” said Mary Lou. “I’ve probably made thousands of clothes and I never get tired of doing it.”

Lulu’s Kidswear is shipped around the country and sold in the craft boutique at the Dick Eardley Senior Center.

“It is an all volunteer run shop and all of the items in the craft boutique are here on consignment by people who are aged 50 and older,” said Boise Senior Center Program Specialist Erika Harmon.

Mary Lou doesn’t just contribute items to the shop, she also works the register every Wednesday.

“She’s one of our longest serving volunteers here,” said Harmon. “She’s also extremely supportive of all of the volunteers that she works with. She’s made some lifelong friends here and she is a friend to all that she meets.”

Mary Lou loves to chat with people shopping and encourage other seniors who have their goods available for purchase in the boutique.

“I always tell the crafters that it’s okay if their item is still here,” said Mary Lou. “I tell them it takes a special person to buy that item so don’t feel bad if it doesn’t sell for a while.”

Mary Lou says the boutique is filled with one-of-a-kind items at prices that they “try to keep under $30.” If you spend any time with her, you’ll quickly see how much she loves volunteering.

“This is like my home. I love coming. It’s my purpose. It gets me up and moving out of the house,” said Mary Lou. “I have so many friends here that it’s like a second family to me. I love coming here, I just love it.”

It seems no matter where I went within the senior center, everyone knew and had a kind thing to say about Mary Lou.

“Mary Lou is always friendly. She stops the front desk to say hi, she often comes with some baked goods that she made at home to share with the staff,” said Program Coordinator for the Boise Senior Center Denise Peterson. “We love it, she spoils us.”

The craft boutique is open to the public and 80% of the sales go back to the senior crafters. Mary Lou hopes you’ll come by and visit!

Mary Lou is CBS2’s second recipient of the B.O.S.S. Retirement Solutions Silver Award. If you know of someone I should highlight, please email me at sdoumani@idahonews.com!

Advisory services are offered through B.O.S.S. Retirement Advisors, an SEC Registered Investment Advisory firm. Insurance products and services are offered through B.O.S.S. Retirement Solutions. The information contained in this material is given for informational purposes only, and no statement contained herein shall constitute tax, legal, or investment advice. The information is not intended to be used as the sole basis for financial decisions, nor should it be construed as advice designed to meet the particular needs of an individual’s situation. You should seek advice on legal and tax questions from an independent attorney or tax advisor. Our firm is not affiliated with the U.S. government or any governmental agency. Marketing materials are provided by Infinity Marketing Services. B.O.S.S. submitted applications and fees to be considered for the Inc. 5000 Fastest Growing Companies and Best of Utah awards. Results were independently determined by each organization’s criteria (https://www.inc.com/inc5000/apply/guide and https://www.bestofstate.org/about.html) and the information B.O.S.S. provided. B.O.S.S. received the Utah Best of State award in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023.

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