Lifelong Marion resident Mary Lynn Nordstrom is a “worker bee” behind the scenes, but word is buzzing of the impact she makes in the community through loyal leadership and influential passion.
After graduating from Marion High School, then working 34 years for Marion Health, she began volunteering at the hospital in various ways. She acclaimed them for the vast on-the-job training she received, and just wanted to give back. She’s in year four of volunteering there including serving on the auxiliary board which holds fundraisers and has even fully funded a new ambulance.
For over 20 years, Nordstrom has been highly active in her neighborhood association, Bend of the River, and currently serves as president. “One day, I got a flyer in my mailbox of an upcoming meeting. I went, and met several neighbors, and several are still my friends today,” said Nordstrom. She has served on the first committee to bring the Miracle on 3rd & 4th Street event to the community, helped with events such as the Books, Bikes, and Arts festival, and manages the Curfman Garden on Washington St., a project dear to her heart. She expressed, “It’s our little jewel in our neighborhood.” After spearheading a self-sustaining use of a once-empty lot, she takes responsibility and great pride in the garden with other dedicated volunteers. The ‘fruits’ of the labor in the garden are for the neighborhood to enjoy, and for others in need who contact the neighborhood association. There is also a “little free library” on site that they also manage.
Nordstrom works within her corner of the community, but also reaches far and wide to spark excitement about Marion. “I love the city. I’m ‘beside myself’ excited about the downtown. I thought I would never live to see the downtown come back, and now I am. I bring my friends downtown, and they realize, and are excited with me.”
Nordstrom said being involved in volunteer groups has created connections, friendships and more, all while improving the community. Also as a member of BORN Church, she encourages partnering with a church or a business as they have done and have seen success. To learn more about how to get involved in Bend of the River Neighborhood Association or Marion Health’s auxiliary board, call 765.664.7627. Nordstrom encouraged, “Just bring yourself, your talent, or what you enjoy. It will work into a group. We will then help and guide you.”