Volunteers honored for service

THIS?WEEK is Volunteer Week. This is a week where individuals inspire, encourage and recognize volunteering in his or her community.

Volunteering is giving time without pay for the betterment of someone, event or a facility. When one normally thinks about volunteering, numerous things could come to mind, such as someone giving time at a hospital, school or cleaning up their community.

In the Ohio Valley, there is someone constantly volunteering whatever free time available to better the community or world around him or her. Even through the smallest act, that person is inspiring and encouraging others to do the same. Without these volunteers, many of these groups and organizations would not be able to thrive as well.

“Our volunteers are an amazing group of people,” said Mary Velez, director of Volunteer Services at Ohio Valley Medical Center and East Ohio Regional Hospital. “They give of themselves to our patients, family members and staff at Ohio Valley Medical Center and East Ohio Regional Hospital and make what can be a hard day more beautiful. They improve our world with each volunteer moment they give.”

But volunteering has extended beyond just in hospitals and schools, but also keeping communities safe.

A group a police officers in the Ohio Valley volunteer numerous of unpaid hours on the Drug Task Force in order to keep drugs off the streets and out of the hands of kids.

“(We are) trying to get some of these drugs off the street,” said Tim Starkey, who has been a member of the Drug Task Force for three years and a police officer since 1992. “They do more harm than good.”

For more than 15 years, the Hands On network has been promoting volunteering throughout the United States. Their main mission is to inspire, equip and mobilize people to give back and prompt change.

Van Dyne may be reached at kaylavandyne@ymail.com