Volunteer of the Week: Jeanne Harris, of Buchanan
Jeanne Harris, who lives in Buchanan, has been a volunteer at the Buchanan Area Senior Center for 2 and a half years.
Q: How did you get involved?
I started going there every once in awhile to do some of the activities and I was asked to run to be part of the board.
I ran and won the election and I started to volunteer more. Being on board, I realized my presence needed to be there.
Q: What do you do as a volunteer?
We have special luncheons and special activities and I volunteer for those. I call bingo once a month and do whatever I am needed to do. Our receptionist retired about a month ago and, before they found a replacement, I helped fill in a few times.
I volunteer but also I go up there and enjoy some of the activities. They have a workout room. So I go up there so I am there. A lot of times I try to be there around lunchtime, just to see the people who are there and talk with them.
I volunteer at about anything major that is going on.
Q: What do you enjoy about volunteering?
I enjoy just being there and being around the people that come to the center. I really enjoy that. When I first started going up there I wasn’t going there a lot. I was one of the younger people that were going up there, but the more I got involved and the more people I met, I really started to enjoy it.
Q: Why is it important to volunteer?
First of all, it is self-gratifying to volunteer.
Another thing is that for a lot of these people this is all they have — the senior center. Some people will come and spend most of the day there. They look forward to being there and socializing with people and seeing people. If you can just be a part of that — I think that is really great. You never know when you make somebody’s day just by smiling or saying hello or having a small conversation with them.
Q: Do you do any other volunteer work?
I am on the Buchanan Northside Committee. Every two years we organize a reunion for residents who grew up on the north side of Buchanan. We’ve been doing that since 2007.
Do you know a volunteer worthy of recognition? Nominate him or her as the Volunteer of the Week by calling Craig Haupert, community editor, at (269) 687-7720, or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.