By Tina Podboy Laughner, Volunteer and Outreach Manager
Once again I come to you with my hand sanitizer in front of me, my mask lying on my desk, as I gaze out my window on this beautiful day. And within five miles of me, people have lost everything in the flood. Everything. And once again, our community has come together to aid our friends, neighbors, and strangers. People have come from far away with donations of food, water, clothing, and help. I am awed by the community spirit of volunteerism that has permeated Midland County.
This spirit of volunteerism has always been a huge part of Senior Services. We could not fulfill our mission without 500-plus volunteers who help us in a variety of ways. Currently, as we have returned to delivering Meals on Wheels five days a week, most of our volunteers have returned to us. Some, however, have been affected by the flood and are not able to continue to drive. So, because of our foresight to recruit potential volunteers early on in this pandemic, we have completed training for almost 20 new volunteers who have been deployed to help deliver meals, both regular weekly routes and on-call substitutes. This group of people volunteered early on and were ready when we called for help. The only ones who were not were medical students who had to go back to their clinics. Even one of those asked about helping us out on weekends!
Obviously, we at Senior Services want to provide services for our clients and participants but we need to be able to do it in a way that all people – volunteers too – are safe. We care about our volunteers – they are a treasured resource that we value and cherish. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “We are prone to judge success by the index of our salaries or the size of our automobiles rather than by the quality of our service and relationship to mankind.” Senior Services volunteers are so incredibly “successful” as measured by the quality of the services they render to the mankind of Midland County! They truly are the best of the best, and we are fortunate that they have chosen to give us the gift of their time and talents.