4000 Hours and Counting
Erie County RSVP proudly announces that 9 RSVP volunteers will receive the “Called to Service Award”, the highest level of the President’s Volunteer Service Award at a special luncheon at ECC North on October 26.
The Award is sponsored by the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation, and recognizes individuals who have given 4,000 hours or more of volunteer service in a lifetime. Recipients set a standard for service, and inspire others to make service a central part of their lives.
These exceptional volunteers shared their thoughts about the impact of volunteering on their own lives.
MaryJo Andolina (Rural Transit Service, Inc.)
“I love the people I volunteer with! Volunteering allows you to get out and meet people. I’d say to those who don’t volunteer: Try it, you’ll love it. I do!”
Mary Cameron (Erie Co. Veterans Service Agency)
“I meet lots of interesting and inspiring people, and it makes me feel good to know that a veteran’s life may be a little better because of information that I gave them. It also keeps me very busy!”
Betty Heigl (Ladies of Charity, VA Medical Center)
“A gentleman came into Ladies of Charity wearing only a tee-shirt and shorts. The clothes on his back were all he owned. We helped him find the basic necessities. It was humbling yet I was so glad that I was able to help. That’s why I volunteer.”
Helen Machynski (Amherst Senior Center Knitters)
“Our knitters make lap robes, baby blankets, mittens, hats, and scarves to donate to organizations for those in need of warmth and a little beauty too.”
Robert McTighe (VA Medical Center/ DAV Van Transportation Network)
“We work hard to ensure that there are enough vans and volunteer drivers to transport our veterans to their medical appointments at the VA.”
William Miess (Erie County Home; Habitat for Humanity)
“A man I visited at the Erie County Home was immobile but could move his eyes and speak weakly. I simply asked ‘How are you?’ and he replied “I am blessed.” I thought “What strength! In the midst of his pain and loneliness, HE is blessed.” This is why I volunteer – for the mutual blessings we both receive.”
James Ochal (VA Medical Center)
“I’m a fortunate vet. I’m healthy, have two feet, and can help those who are less fortunate. Volunteering expands my life to more than just one dimension. I’m just happier.”
Michael Petrinec (Beaver Meadow Audubon Society; Buffalo Zoo)
“Children spend most of their leisure time indoors on the computer or watching TV. I hope that I help them to develop a love of nature because what they love, they will protect.”
Angeline Stadelman (Amherst Senior Center)
"I'm friendly and love to talk! I use my gift for talking to people to help nonprofits by selling tickets and collecting donations. They call me the Ticket Lady because I can sell anything and usually I am! It's so rewarding and I feel like I'm doing my part. I'm not one to sit on the side."