By Dana Paperman
For Senior Voice 

Volunteers deserve every bit of appreciation


April 1, 2019

Courtesy Seward Senior Center

Collette Brantingham and Charlie Jackson were among those honored at Seward Senior Center's Volunteers Appreciation luncheon on Feb. 14.

The decorations made and hung by volunteers. Check. Treat bags filled with fine chocolates and table displayed, completed by volunteers. Check. Front desk volunteer arrives early (first time!) to assist in welcoming volunteers. Check. We are prepared to give back a hearty meal, a sweet treat and celebrate those that find purpose in supporting programs that add value to a senior's life.

Volunteer board members shoot photos to capture celebrating volunteers. Check. The dishwasher broke down hours before the Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, so the volunteer dishwasher stayed late. As you can appreciate, volunteers are here to stay and help.

Courtesy Seward Senior Center

Shirley Davison, Tonya Foote and Carol Souza share smiles at Seward Senior Center's Volunteer Appreciation luncheon. April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month, and where would we be without volunteers?

Volunteers can make or break a small rural organization. Those who want to support senior services, recognize the value of charity and the virtues of donating personal time to a community cause. Volunteers make the Seward Senior Center a healthier and more valuable asset to the community, by extending their professional expertise; dedicating their personal efforts to improve the lives of the aging community, add another set of caring hands, listening ears and another heart full of compassion.

Giving an hour a week or 12 hours a month, volunteers share what they can, filling in a void that brings education, happiness and laughter, and a sense of belonging, especially to the new senior in town. Volunteer encouragement assures retired volunteers that they have been freed of their life-time of volunteer commitment, hence they become the recipient of the new volunteer support. Talk about pay it forward! Together, volunteers and employees build the bridge that invites seniors over to play, to ponder and to find a healthy place in their respective community.

April is National Volunteer Appreciation Month, the perfect time to recognize the community saints that find virtue in volunteering.

Dana Paperman is the Seward Senior Center executive director.


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