Cass County COA to host volunteer appreciation breakfast

CASSOPOLIS — With the holiday season just around the corner, many are taking time to give back to others and to the community in order to spread a little holiday cheer.

However, early next month, one local organization is looking to thank those who have given their time throughout the entire year.

The Cass County Council on Aging will host a volunteer appreciation breakfast at 9 a.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6 at the COA Lowe Center, 60525 Decatur Road, Cassopolis. The breakfast is free for attendants, and all who have volunteered at the COA within the last year are invited to attend.

“This is for the volunteers. This is our way of showing appreciation to our volunteers throughout the year,” said Heidi Powell, who works in community development with the COA. “There will be breakfast and Christmas carols and other fun things to go with this holiday breakfast.”

In total, the COA has between 150 to 200 active volunteers, which makes up roughly two-thirds of its staff, according to Bobbie Krynicki, the COA Human Resources Team Leader.

Volunteers make many COA programs possible, be it through delivering food through Meals on Wheels, volunteering in the kitchens and dining rooms or working the front desk, Powell said, noting she has personally seen the good work that volunteers have done in the community, particularly through the Meals on Wheels program.

“I think one of the biggest things they do is that [volunteers] really give that human contact,” Powell said. “[Staff] can sign people up, but it’s really [volunteers] who go out there and forge that connection every single time.”

Because volunteers are so integral to the COA, Powell said it is important that the organization takes the time to recognize and appreciate its volunteers. The organization does this through two annual volunteer breakfasts and a volunteer dinner hosted in the spring.

“Volunteers are the success of the COA,” Powell said. “They are our outreach. They are our eyes and ears. [Staff] kind of does all of the backstage work, and [volunteers] do the front stage work.”

Powell said she hopes that COA volunteers will attend the volunteer breakfast on Dec. 6, so that she and other COA staff can thank them for all they do for the organization.

“We want to show our appreciation and get everyone in the holiday spirit,” Powell said.

For more information on the upcoming COA volunteer appreciation breakfast or for volunteering opportunities, visit casscoa.org or call (269) 445-8110.

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