Boomer Times May-June 2017 - Page 7

May 17, 2017 THE BEACON 7B Community organizations benefit from volunteers COSHOCTON – There are many ways senior citizens can give back to their community and one way is through volunteering their time and sharing their experience and knowledge with others, or just being there for someone who is in need. Many organizations in Coshocton Coun- ty have volunteer opportunities for not only seniors, but for people of all ages. One of those organizations is Health Services and Hospice of Coshocton County. Locally, Hospice has about 30 regular volunteers who offer a comforting hand to those who are nearing the end of their life. “It’s one more person, one more touch,” said Kait Gallagher-Wilsterman, volunteer coordinator for community hospice. “A lot of the time, people in hospice see family members and staff. This person is coming not to do nursing care, but to be a compan- ion to the patient.” The caregiver of the hospice patient does not have to be present when the hospice volunteer is there, so it also gives them time to go out and run errands or just to get away for a while. Hospice volunteers also do mailings for hospice and bereavement calls where they call family members of the hospice patient who have passed away. “We couldn’t exist without our volun- teers,” said Gallagher-Wilsterman. If you would like to become a hospice volunteer, contact Gallagher-Wilsterman at 740-622-7311. Another organization who is in need of volunteers in the county is the Retired Seniors Volunteer Program (R.S.V.P.). They have volunteers in both Coshocton and Holmes County with 12 volunteers in Holmes and four in Coshocton. Volunteers at R.S.V.P. work the blood drive registration for the Coshocton Coun- ty Chapter of The American Red Cross. Another, who is a retired nurse, is on the safety committee at Hopewell Industries, and one travels to Holmes County to vol- unteer at a non-profit thrift store. “They do a lot for organizations and help out with different things going on with- in the community,” said Elaine Wilson, coordinator of R.S.V.P. “It gets them out and they’re able to interact with different age groups.” Recently, First Step Family Violence Intervention Services, Inc. became a volunteer organization. They are having an event this summer at Kids America for at-risk kids. “It’s an opportunity for them to have somebody to talk to about their day,” said Wilson. “Preplanning can be the best gift you can give your family” Whether you are getting your wishes on paper, prepaying, assigning your insurance, or transferring a pre-existing pre-arrangement. Call Matt or Darcie at 740-622-8000 When your family is faced with decisions after the loss of a loved one, make the decision to let our family at Miller Funeral Home serve your family. L ocaLLy o wned & o perated Miller Funeral Home LLC 639 Main Street • Coshocton 740.622.8000 If you would like to volunteer with R.S.V.P., contact Wilson at the Red Cross Office at 740-622-0228 Monday through Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Another organization who has volun- teers making a difference in the commu- nity is the Coshocton Senior Volunteer Program. The program currently has about 150 volunteers with approximately 50 turning in hours each month. Seniors can choose where they want to volunteer from a list of participating sites that is available at the senior center. Seniors who would like to volunteer in the program can go to the senior center and fill out an information sheet which includes your name, address, and your interests. The volunteers are encouraged to visit different sites on the list where they feel would be a good fit for them before volunteering. “There are a lot of organizations that lit- erally could not exist without volunteers,” said Christy Neighbor, coordinator of the Coshocton Senior Volunteer Program. “They really are keeping a lot of our busi- nesses going.” Many organizations rely on volunteers due to the cost-saving impact on their busi- ness. Volunteers do many hours of work with no pay simply to give back to the com- munity, and the knowledge and wisdom they bring to the community is priceless. “You develop skills and interests over your lifetime that can help someone and adds value to the community,” said Neigh- bors. Volunteers in the program turn in a monthly hour report that tracks the hours each volunteer worked that month. In April, the program had 47 volunteers turn in hours at eight sites. Those volunteers worked a total of 449 and 1/2 hours in one month which averages about 9 and 1/2 hours per person that month. “This is an awesome program and we would like to get more organizations in the community involved in the program,” said Neighbor. “All you have to do is drop off or mail in hours that each person does each month. It’s kind of nice to know what volunteer opportunities are available in the community.” If your organization would like to be- come involved, contact Neighbor at the Co- shocton County Senior Center at 740-622- 4852. Some of the organizations already involved in the program are the Coshocton Public Library, Kno-Ho-Co-Ashland, First Step Family Violence Intervention Inc., and Windsorwood. Anyone who is interested in volunteering in the program can stop by the senior cen- ter at 201 Browns Lane, Coshocton. Your Greatest Asset is your Health! 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