Northampton County salutes volunteers

Published 8:59 am Tuesday, July 6, 2010

JACKSON – Volunteers help make the world go round and in Northampton County it’s no different.

On Thursday, those volunteers that help with different county programs were honored with an appreciation dinner and fashion show.

“We couldn’t do it without you,” said Northampton County Office on Aging Director Debby Warren to the audience gathered at the Cultural and Wellness Center. Warren said the event is put on each year to recognize those volunteers that lend a hand in the county, including those offering assistance at the Office on Aging, the Health Department, the J.W. Faison Senior Center and Cooperative Extension.

This year’s event saw 84 volunteers, only a portion of those that donate their time and effort for their communities.

Those attending the volunteer appreciation event were treated to a picnic style dinner and a fashion show featuring beach fashions modeled by a group of children that volunteered their time to say thank you.

Many of those in attendance said they volunteer to simply help others.

Juanita Harrell of Woodland has been volunteering with Meals on Wheels for a few years.

She said she followed suit when her sister began volunteering in their hometown of Rich Square.

“I enjoy helping people who can’t help themselves,” she said. “My mama is an invalid herself.” Twice a month, Harrell helps out with the program delivering warm meals to residents in Rich Square.

“I think it’s very important,” she said about volunteering.

“People who are homebound appreciate someone coming by and delivering food…they really appreciate it.”

Home Deliver Meals Coordinator Nancy Gunnells said the program serves 49 people through the help of 60 volunteers.

Janey Ellen of Jackson has been volunteering since she retired in 1996 from the Veteran’s Service Office. Before starting with the latter, she worked 22 years in the Register of Deeds Office.

Ellen said she began to help with Meals on Wheels because she was asked and also she wanted to volunteer.

“It’s a good thing to volunteer,” she said. “It’s help for people to stay at home when they want a nutritious meal.” Ellen along with Alma Baggett, also of Jackson, noted often times with Meals on Wheels recipients it’s not just about getting food, rather the knowledge that someone is coming by to check in on them and visit a little.

Baggett said helping those in need is always fulfilling to volunteers.

“It does more for you than the people you serve,” she said.

Rebecca Bayse, Director of the Faison Senior Center said approximately 50 volunteers dedicate their time at the facility.

The volunteers help with a variety of activities and programs offered at the center. “We couldn’t make it without them,” she said. “We couldn’t exist without them.”