National Volunteer Month is celebrated every April to honor all of the volunteers in our communities as well as encourage volunteerism throughout the month. Volunteers play an important role at UDS by providing much needed support to several agency programs. One such program that relies heavily on its volunteers is the Toy & Resource Center (TRC). The Toy Center has a dynamic team of four enthusiastic UDS retirees who give freely of their time to greet guests, check out toys, provide recommendations for play and make sure toys are thoroughly cleaned upon return.
Shortly after retirement, Liz Faust, Pat Richards, Lynne Came and Barb Van Fossen all returned to UDS and began volunteering in the Toy & Resource Center, as well with other programs throughout the agency that needed help. As employees of UDS, they saw firsthand the direct impact volunteer support has on the agency’s programs and, as past users of the Toy Center, they were familiar with the need for volunteers to help the program run efficiently.
Sheila Svoboda, TRC supervisor, says, “TRC wouldn’t be able to run without our volunteers. They provide the ability to keep toys in use and rotated with cleaning and disinfecting. There are days I am busy helping our members and if I also had to keep the toys up to date and clean, I wouldn’t be able to assist them at the level we want to achieve.”
Liz Faust retired from UDS in 2004 after 15 years of employment and has been a volunteer in the Toy Center since 2013. Liz says, “Toy safety and cleanliness is very important,” and she enjoys being able to play an important role in making sure toys are clean and safe to use.
Pat Richards began using services for her daughter and grew so fond of the agency and the people we serve, she began working for UDS in the Adult Services program. She retired in 2008 after more than 30 years and immediately began volunteering in the toy lending library.
Lynne Came left public education and found UDS in 1989, where she used her teaching skills in our Adult Services program. Lynne has been volunteering in the Toy Center and other various UDS programs since retirement in 2008.
Barb Van Fossen began her journey with UDS teaching in our pre-school and then transitioned into the Respite and Community Living program as a respite coordinator after the pre-school closed in 2004. Barb has been volunteering in the Toy Center since soon after retirement in 2009.
UDS is thankful for the continued support of all our volunteers that help us provide quality services for our community. If you are interested in volunteer opportunities with United Disability Services contact us to see how you can make a difference in the lives of people with disabilities.
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