Monday, September 14, 2009

Make it Happen Mondays

All over the USA, Seniors are using their years of experience and knowledge in a servant leadership capacity in their communities. They are volunteering their services when needed. On Mondays we are looking forward to sharing the stories of some of these "make it happen" senior volunteers along with interesting volunteering opportunities.

Quiet Heroes

Heroic, active and strong, Mahatma Gandhi said, "I shall pass through this world but once. Any good therefore that I can do or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."

The Lakewood Edge Daily News in Lakewood Colorado did an article on some special seniors in their community. They reported that...

The Jefferson County Council on Aging and the Seniors’ Resource Center singled out some special seniors as heroes.

Louise Weech never let anything get in her way, especially not developmental disabilities.

The Lakewood woman was one of the first in Jefferson County to buy a home with a disability mortgage loan. And she was the first to pay it off.

Weech is a founder of the Kiwanis Aktion Club for folks with disabilities and she pushed Regional Transportation District officials to install curb cuts and to provide lifts on buses to make access easier for the elderly and people in wheelchairs.

She also knits baby blankets for Baby Rocks, knits scarves for members of the U.S. military and volunteers for the talking books library.

“There are thousands of seniors who volunteer each year in Jefferson County’s non-profit organizations, schools, hospitals, service clubs and in civic leadership capacities, and in many other ways that too often go unrecognized,” said John Zabawa, president and CEO of Seniors’ Resource Center.

“Seniors have given back more than their share to our communities and made a positive future possible for us all.”

Others singled out for their volunteer work were:

Marie Roush of Lakewood plans and cooks Saturday brunch at Willow Glen Senior Residences, maintains several community garden sites and helps other gardeners with their plots. She is a member of a quilting group that makes lap blankets for residents of nursing homes and recently finished a box full of quilted baby blankets for teenage moms.

Dean Cassady of Arvada, who participates in a number of Senior Resource Center Programs including the Home Repair Program, helping an average of two to three center clients a week with such things as installing safety bars, building railings, doing electrical and plumbing repairs and installing television converter boxes.

Barbara Dalton of Arvada, who helps foreign-born adults learn English and has recruited other volunteers to the program. Dalton also has helped her students overcome other barriers to their assimilation into American culture.

Jane Wester of Evergreen, a volunteer at Hiwan Homestead for more than 30 years. She serves as a Museum receptionist, assists with the Behind the Scenes curatorial group and helps with planning and staffing special events. She has been the newsletter editor for the Jefferson County Historical Society and played a key role in many of the Museum’s early exhibits.

Lois Fenimore of Arvada is known as the “pied piper of recreation” for her dedication. Fenimore has volunteered more than 2,025 hours of her time at the Community Recreation Center of the Apex Park and recreation District. She teaches Mahjongg and Pinochle and is an assistant at fitness events and yoga classes.

I heartily agree with Erma Bombeck, who said, "Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation's compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain love for one another."

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