Volunteering keeps seniors from going ‘stir crazy’

NORWICH – A large group of retired and senior citizen volunteers gathered recently to celebrate each other’s dedication to the Chenango County community in 2008.

More than 400 were recognized at the 11th Annual Retired & Senior Volunteer Program recognition luncheon held Friday at the American Legion Post 189. The RSVP organization has donated 62,660 hours to 50 non-profit agencies in Chenango County over the past year.

The number of hours is the equivalent of putting more than one million dollars back into the community, said program director Linda Campbell, adding that the typical RSVP volunteer serves three and a half hours per week at one or more agencies or organizations.

“There is nothing ordinary about these dedicated members of our Chenango County society. They willingly lend a hand wherever and whenever asked,” she said.

Retired and senior citizens want to volunteer, Campbell explained, because they see a need in the community, enjoy being with their friends who do it, or simply “want to avoid going stir crazy.”

Newly named Volunteer of the Year Nancy Rolls of Guilford wouldn’t have attended the reception to receive her recognition if the agency she volunteers for, Chase Memorial Nursing Home of New Berlin, hadn’t insisted that she take the day off.

Rolls has been a diabetic support group volunteer for 14 years and began also helping out at Chase Memorial in 2003 while her mother was a resident there. She brought several members of her family to celebrate Friday’s occasion, including son, Brad Smith, wife Jackie, and two grandsons. Her daughter, Tracey and two other grandchildren who live in Cincinnati, would have loved to be with her if they could, she said.

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