Teen volunteers recognized for their efforts

Heather Meade Staff Writer

December 30, 2013

GREENVILLE - Eleven teenage volunteers were recognized Monday at the Brethren Retirement Community (BRC) for their efforts to bring a little extra energy and joy to BRC’s residents, providing transportation assistance to and from events within the facility, helping with special events and community games, and spending time with BRC residents.

Janet Ashworth, volunteer coordinator, said that these young people got involved through family members and their schools, some volunteering because their parents did, and others ‘adopting’ a grandparent through their school’s Ladies and Gentlemen Clubs. Their younger volunteers don’t typically stick around past age 16, when they’re busy with driving, after-school activities and jobs, but Ashworth, and the entire BRC staff and community, appreciate the time that these young people do give.

Macy Fralick, now a freshman at Miami University, studying to be a middle school teacher, has a four-year track record, and two ladies who she has ‘adopted,’ who she said are like grandmas and really close friends.

“Most people think volunteering is doing something to help others,” said Fralick. “But my experience here has really helped me, probably more than it’s helped them, I think.”

Fralick said she connected right away with the women she began visiting, and the other volunteers agreed that they’ve really had no challenges with their volunteerism; they enjoy what they’re doing, and look forward to continue doing it, they said.

Another volunteer, Bethany Potter, said she visited BRC in second grade with her class, and learned in sixth grade that she could volunteer, she said she “felt right at home,” and wanted to take the opportunity to brighten the days of the residents.

“Seeing the residents smile - I just love that,” added Sidney Harshman, a junior high student who volunteers at BRC.

“It’s nice knowing you’re helping residents in a good way,” noted Holly Gehret, another junior high student volunteer.

The proclamation the volunteers received came from the Ohio Senate, and more specifically, Ohio Senate President Keith Faber (R-Celina), which Ashworth said she’d never seen in her 10 years as the BRC volunteer coordinator. The proclamation congratulated the volunteers on their “civic concern,” “selflessness,” and being “responsive to the needs of their communities.”

John Warner, BRC’s president, was on hand to thank and congratulate the young volunteers as well, citing them as people who “brighten the days of our residents,” and encouraging them to continue serving their communities.