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Marie Thomas believes that "life is a two-way street." For her that means giving back. She began her volunteering at Simon C. Fireman Community soon after she moved into the community over 22 years ago. Every morning, without fail, Marie opens the front reception desk. That's often followed by work in the Finance Office or the Administrative Office. "Work," says Marie, "keeps me engaged. I believe that when you give of yourself, you get so much more in return. It gives me a sense of purpose and I know that people can count on me."

Marie grew up in Boston, attended Boston Public School and Bridgewater State College where she studied to be a teacher. At the time, teachers in the Boston Public School system couldn't be married and that presented a problem to Marie. She was determined to marry her sweetheart and begin a family, so her teaching career ended. Eventually, she had many other jobs and learned how to efficiently run a business office. Today, the staff and her fellow residents at Simon C. Fireman Community are the beneficiaries of her skills and experience.