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Green River community center hosts volunteer appreciation dinner

Green River volunteers gather for a turkey dinner.

The Green River Community Center honored their Volunteers of America program participants recently at a turkey dinner. This is a national nonprofit organization and Green River is part of the program. The seniors help with many activities and programs in Green River. The retired and senior volunteers as well as the foster grandparent program began in Emery County about 10 years ago. Right now the branch is more active in Green River but has been active in all of Emery County.

Teresa Zamudio is the program coordinator for Emery County. She was part of the organizing team for the volunteer and recognition dinner. "We want to recognize the work these volunteers do for our community. We are celebrating by providing a meal for them. They really give a lot. They help deliver meals to seniors. They help at the thrift store where they sort donations. They are really involved in the afterschool program where they read with the children and help them with homework. They help with art projects and activities too. They help with meal preparation for seniors and the children. The volunteers really enjoy their work and we have many regular helpers. When people volunteer they get back much more than they give. They are very gratified and the spirit of giving lives in them. The spirit of service is alive in these programs," said Zamudio.

Sue Weaver is the program director for the Utah Volunteers of America, she along with Mark Manazer, CEO, came to Green River from the Salt Lake office for the volunteer recognition. Weaver said, "The program is for seniors 55 and older. It's proven if you stay active and have an active life you will live longer and have a more fulfilling life."

Manazer said, "Our seniors are a wonderful untapped resource. They have so many skills that they can use and contribute in the community. They do a great job. The average age of our volunteers is 68. Mature individuals have a life time of experience to share."

Program organizers said they are always looking for volunteers. Volunteers also receive a mileage reimbursement for their travels for volunteer work. In Emery County currently there are 110 volunteers and they are always looking for more.

To volunteer in Emery County call Teresa at the Green River Community Center.

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