Volunteers making a difference across county

Staff Writer
Woodford Times

From Eureka to Metamora busy citizens giving of their time, energy and talents are making Woodford County a better place to live.

In the process they are sustaining a county — like many others — under tremendous economic pressure.

On today’s front page is evidence of no less than two successful volunteer efforts to entertain and make people’s lives better.

Let us start with RSVP — Retired and Senior Volunteer Program — headquartered in Eureka which asks adults age 55 and over to use their life experience, skills and talents to meet the needs of those in our communities through volunteer service with not-for-profits. In 2009, 439 volunteers served more than 61,600 hours in 77 area not-for-profits.

That is an incredible accomplishment made possible by dedicated citizens willing to give back.

RSVP director Amber Harmon pointed out that without these volunteers many organizations could not exist.

Estella Schieber of Metamora is a woman offering a living example of what can be accomplished by one dedicated person. She has worked as an RSVP volunteer since 1988, giving more than 8,500 hours of her time at places like Metamora Grade School, Snyder Village and SHARE Food.

And, on page 1 we have a picture of three girls enjoying a ride at Old Settler’s Days in Metamora — an event that would be much smaller, if it existed at all, without many hours of work by a handful of volunteers.

Cindy Poplette, a volunteer since 1992, said nine volunteers worked this year to bring the event to life. She estimated during the week of the festival they will put in  400 hours plus.  

Poplette said the volunteers give of themselves to bring off the festival.

“I look forward to giving back to the community, Poplette said.”

She is not alone.

“All the volunteers are taking vacation time away from their full-time job,” she said.

That dedication serves as an example for all.

Everyone has an opportunity to contribute. Will you answer the call?