Elsie Crimaldi volunteers at the St. Petersburg Clearwater International Airport.
Elsie Crimaldi of Gulfport likes to be helpful and she stays active doing a number of different things including spending one day a week as a volunteer at the information booth at the St. Petersburg Clearwater International Airport.
As airplanes arrive and passengers go to the baggage area to claim their luggage, Crimaldi is there to answer any one of dozens of questions they may have, such as: where is their luggage, how do they get a cab or limo, or simply where’s the restrooms. She answers them all with a smiling face and a friendly demeanor.
Crimaldi lived in the Chicago area before moving to Florida. She owned and operated her own beauty salon for 16 years before she decided to close it up. She then went to work for a local cosmetics manufacturer. After almost 20 years she decided it was time to retire. It was during a trip to see an aunt who had a condo in Gulfport that the idea of moving to Florida first entered her mind. She enjoyed the warm weather and having a swimming pool right outside the door and not having to deal with the cold weather and shoveling snow. She asked her aunt to let her know if there was ever a unit in her complex that became available. A few weeks later she received a call and Elsie soon found herself a Floridian.
Wanting to keep busy and stay active, she found herself looking for something to do. When she discovered she could volunteer at the airport she thought that would be fun and interesting and signed up. She she says she has no plans to stop anytime soon.
In addition to volunteering at the airport, she is active in her community, as membership chairwoman for the Gulfport Garden and Bird Club as well as an associate member of the Gulfport Chamber of Commerce. She is also active in her church, the Most Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church.
Crimaldi encourages others to volunteer, no matter what their age.
“People don’t realize what they can do to stay active and have fun,” she said. “Instead of sitting, they should get out and volunteer, do something.”
She believes there’s always someone or someplace like a nursing home or the zoo or the airport that could use help. And she notes it doesn’t have to take up a lot of a person’s time or be physically demanding either.
The airport’s community and media relations director, Michelle Routh, said she values Crimaldi greatly.
She is “a real asset to the airport and an absolute delight to be around,” Routh says, adding that Crimaldi is willing to do whatever is needed, including assisting passengers, cab drivers and even new volunteers.
This article courtesy of Pinellas County Communications. Pinellas County volunteers can expect to make a difference in the life of their community, while exploring interests, sharing knowledge, assisting others and making friends. For more information, visit www.pinellascounty.org/volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 464-VIPS (8477).