Thurlow Lieurance (1993)
This post was transcribed from an article in the Capper Foundation Archives published by the The Topeka Capital-Journal. Lieurance was once a volunteer for Capper Foundation. He shared his insights about his time at the foundation in the story below.
Volunteer for Capper Foundation Workshop (1993)
Undergoing hand surgery and cataract surgery during the past year has taught Thurlow Lieurance Jr. something about how his friends at Capper Foundation feel. Time spent recovering from surgery also has kept him from the personally rewarding activities.
“As someone who’s right handed, trying to do everything with my left hand has given me a small idea of what my clients are putting up with,” Lieurance said.
After he retired in 1980 from Southwestern Bell Telephone, Lieurance began working with clients at the Capper Foundation Workshop.
“I know all of them pretty well,” he shared. “It gave me a real boost when I went in there to see them.”
Lieurance said they were all glad to see him. Most of them would have given him a hand while he was disabled. “No question about it,” he said.
Lieurance assists the workshop supervisor at Capper Foundation and is a consultant for Cerebral Palsy of Topeka Inc. He worked with Mary Martel until her retirement last year. He now works with Robert House.
“I design and make jigs for each workshop station to help clients do specific jobs,” Lieurance explained.
Lieurance’s volunteer duties included filling in for the supervisor when needed and working with the clients in groups or one-on-one.
“If it weren’t for this place these people would be in nursing homes some place,” he said. “This allows them to do something productive.”
Lieurance said when clients line up to pick up their paychecks, they are just as excited about it as any other worker.
“They’ve been able to do something meaningful that has offered them some self-esteem, and they get paid.”
Feeling productive is important for everyone, he shared.
“They appreciate the attention and they feel a part of the community. And all the years I’ve been working with them, they’ve all been very appreciative of all that’s done for them.”