05/08/07 — Wright Times-- SJAFB Volunteers

View Archive

Wright Times-- SJAFB Volunteers

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on May 8, 2007 1:48 PM

By Barbara Stiles

Director, Volunteer Wayne/RSVP

All volunteers are extraordinary people. However, everyone in Wayne County has a special place in their heart for the volunteers from Seymour Johnson Air Force Base. They come from all over the world and share much-needed expertise and skills. They save community agencies thousands of dollars and help them operate within their budgets. Agencies could not provide necessary services without these volunteers.

Juanita Joseph, volunteer program coordinator at SJAFB, estimated that 40,494 hours of service were contributed in Wayne County in 2007. That would equate to $731,727 at the Independent Sector's Rate for volunteer service.

They do this in spite of deployments around the world. Emphasis on serving the community has never been higher. Col. Steve Kwast's leadership has encouraged the commitment to lending a hand where it is needed. It helps the community. It helps the individual serving as well as the individual served.

Where do they serve? Everywhere!

Active duty personnel spend their leisure hours mentoring a child, volunteering as a firefighter, building homes for Habitat for Humanity, serving Meals on Wheels, coaching sports, just to name a few. Spouses and children paint murals at Cherry Hospital or the Partnership for Children, tutor at the Boys and Girls Club, serve at the Red Cross. Retirees help at the base pharmacy, drive disabled veterans to medical appointments at Veterans hospitals and other medical facilities. They each see something that needs to be done and do whatever it takes to accomplish it, no matter what the obstacles.

For more ideas where to contribute, visit Volunteer Wayne/RSVP online at volunteersolutions.org/uwwc/volunteer or call 735-5152, ext. 336. Staff will help plan a project or share ideas on how to connect to upcoming opportunities to serve such as the following:

May 12 Food Drive -- Postal carriers work with SJAFB and other agencies to gather non-perishable food items for six agencies serving the hungry in Wayne County.

June 2 Born Learning Children's Festival at Herman Park from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. - Extra hands are needed for this event focused on families with young children. Volunteers can assist with fun activities that include free train rides, refreshments, moonwalks, entertainment and a drawing for children's prizes. Set-up, registration, food, booths, and cleanup are available positions.

August 3-5 - Wings Camp -- Help with activities at camp for children who have lost a parent or other important person in their life. Thirty children from all over eastern North Carolina will arrive at Woodmen of the World Camp in Dover, N.C. to take part in activities designed to assist them through the grieving process. Register now to be notified of training to prepare you for this special camp.

September 15-22, United Way Days of Caring -- Open your heart and lend a hand. Connect with a nonprofit organization to volunteer and complete a special project in Wayne County. Learn what an agency does, give back to your community, and show how much you care.