Green River Star -

By Lillian Palmer
Staff Writer 

Volunteers served in appreciation at GHSC

More than 80 volunteers make center what it is

 

Star photo by Lillian Palmer

Home-delivery volunteer Kathy McCormick has been delivering meals for six years now.

Volunteers make a difference in any organization.

The difference volunteers make at the Golden Hour Senior Center is a visible one. To show thanks and appreciation of the center's many senior volunteers, the center hosted a volunteer appreciation luncheon for them. No volunteers lifted a finger during the lunch. It was their turn to sit, relax and be served.

Volunteers are present and active at the center everyday from when the time it opens at 8 a.m., until the center closes at 4 p.m.

"Volunteers are the life blood of the center," activities coordinator Megan Brown said.

There are about 80 senior-age volunteers who donate their time and effort to the center in various ways. Counting volunteers of all ages who help from the community, there are about 120. The seniors help and are directly involved in the daily activities and functions of the center. Some help decorate for various events the center hosts while others help teach wellness classes or head up the different weekly social gatherings. Many deliver meals to the home bound.

"We are utilizing volunteers in every aspect of the organization," director Sheela Schermetzler said.

About 50 meals are delivered to seniors on a daily basis. The drivers are volunteers. But it's not only about driving, Schermetzler said.

"It gives us a chance to check on people to see if they're OK," she said. "It's a very positive thing for the people who receive meals. It makes a big difference."

Without the number of seniors that devote their time and effort to the center, it would not operate as well or have as many programs.

"They save us a lot of money," Brown said. "That's how you run a nonprofit; can't do it without volunteers."

The volunteers are an even more vital commodity to the center now, with the minimal 2016-2017 fiscal year city budget coming up. Financial cuts are being made across the board. The center requested $20,000 from the city council. At the budget workshop Thursday, the council discussed lowering the amount granted to the center from the requested amount of $20,000, to about $15,000, but no final decision has been made at this time.

Star photo by Lillian Palmer

Eve Wieburg, front, Cleone Haughey and Mary Grub in back enjoy a volunteer-lead square dancing class at GHSC.

Councilman Mark Peterson spoke briefly at the luncheon to offer his thanks the volunteers as well.

"Without our volunteers, this center would be in trouble," he said.

Brown said volunteering not only helps the center, but it helps the seniors who do the volunteering as well.

"For a lot of them, it gives them a reason to get out of the house everyday," she said. "I think a lot of them like to give back."

Schermetzler said it has been studied and found seniors who volunteer may even live longer; it's good for their health. Seniors at the center say they are more busy now volunteering, than they were before they retired. The center also offers a social life, Brown said. They can't wait for the weekend to be over, to continue their weekday activities at the center, and continue to volunteer.

 

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