April 15-21, 2012
National Volunteer Week is dedicated to the millions of men, women, children and families who freely give of their time as volunteers. In Olmsted County, we have several ways that volunteers serve. Here is a look at four of those programs:
“Ways To Give”/Lutheran Social Service is a contracted service working with Olmsted County Social Workers providing a variety of product to their clients. Items include food, clothing, furniture, Easter baskets, and holiday gifts. In 2011, 854 volunteers donated 2,892 hours. That work, if measured at a conservative $21.36 per hour, meant a value of $61,773 was provided to Olmsted County residents. The goods and money donated to clients was equivalent to $106,781.
Our 23 Volunteer Drivers logged 230,474 miles during 2011, which is just 8,381 miles less than driving to the moon! They provided 8,201 hours of service. That breaks down into 5,349 destination-to-destination rides scheduled. Our drivers drove to destinations in Rochester, Duluth, St Peter, LaCrosse, Austin, Worthington, and many other cities in and around the area. Volunteer Drivers provide courteous, prompt, and professional service to our community. We are very grateful for our Volunteer Drivers and they are truly Exceptional People with Extraordinary Hearts!
We also have Companions and Adult Partner Volunteers. These volunteers work behind the scenes making weekly, bi-weekly or monthly visits to clients. These volunteers are “friendly visitors” who provide social outlets for clients who may be homebound or have few visitors. These visits can and have brought attention to changes in behavior or physical abilities that have occurred in between scheduled appointments by staff. These volunteers are very caring and dependable people and have provided 190 hours of visits to our clients. Again, these Volunteers are clearly Exceptional People with Extraordinary Hearts!
Also serving Olmsted County are Community Service Aides who help staff with office-type jobs. These volunteers assist staff and their duties include anything from filing and making labels to analyzing data and many tasks in between. In 2011, these volunteers served 441 hours. Indeed, Exceptional People with Extraordinary Hearts!
If you see a Volunteer working, please take a moment to say “thanks” for the help and support that they give to make Olmsted County a better place to live and work.