For two years soccer forward Madeline “Max” Flom has been visiting disabled veterans at the William Christoffersen Salt Lake Veterans Home. She listens. She leaves notes of encouragement. She’s a favorite of patients and staff alike. “Being a volunteer at the VA nursing home is simply being a friend,” she says.
Flom and gymnast Missy Reinstadtler were honored Nov. 10 at the Utah vs. Oregon football game as this year’s Utah Athletes in Service. Sponsored by the Lowell Bennion Community Service Center, the award recognizes athletes who excel in their sport, in the classroom and in the community.
Flom, who is also an academic all-American, says she started volunteering at the VA nursing home as a freshman. Besides her work there, she also volunteers as a Spanish translator at the Family Law Clinic.
Reinstadtler is equally committed to the community. She spends her time volunteering with U-FIT, a program that provides children with disabilities, and their siblings, a chance to work one-on-one with a volunteer mentor who helps them work on motor skills. “Nothing is more rewarding than seeing the smiling and laughing faces of these kids every week,” Reinstadtler says. Besides her work at U-FIT, she also volunteers with Best Friends Animal Society and the Ronald McDonald House.
Reinstadtler says her work with Best Friends Animal Society is a good fit for her dream of someday becoming a veterinarian. Flom, who hopes to one day become a lawyer, says, “I’m a volunteer. But on most days it’s the veterans who are giving back to me.”