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Volunteers give time, heart

By Sonny Long
April 15, 2011 at 6:02 p.m.
Updated April 14, 2011 at 11:15 p.m.


'Our volunteers are...'

April 10-16 was National Volunteer Month. Here is how some of the heads of area nonprofit agencies feel about their volunteers:

"... the heart of Habitat. While they think they are just hammering, sweating and measuring, we know they are lighting a path to the heart of the family - the home."

Cynthia Staley, Habitat for Humanity Victoria

"...amazing. They work as hard as our staff, for no pay, and little recognition. They come back time and time again because they believe in our cause."

Ginny Stafford, Mid-Coast Family Services

"...priceless. Without the countless volunteers that come to help...our centers would be financially sunk. Volunteers continue to be the hands, arms, and feet of God and we are very thankful for each and every one of them."

Debra Garner, Victoria County Senior Citizen Centers

"...doers. Red Cross volunteers are people in action...They come together with one common purpose - to provide relief to victims of disasters and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies."

Lanell Mantey, American Red Cross, Crossroads Chapter

"...amazingly committed men and women who give there time, skill and talent to increase the education of their adult students."

Stacey Milberger, Victoria Adult Literacy Council

"...the lifeblood of our organization. Volunteers provide energy and resources that keep the organization alive and mission oriented.

Dennis Brown, Food Bank of the Golden Crescent

NATIONAL VOLUNTEER WEEK

The handmade sign near Marilyn Kabela's work station says it all.

"Volunteers are a work of heart," it reads.

Kabela, who has volunteered at the Crossroads Chapter of the American Red Cross since Hurricane Katrina sent a wave of evacuees to Victoria, handles mostly clerical duties in the office but also goes out with the Disaster Action Team after fire strikes an area home.

"I don't think people realize how bad it is when you lose everything," Kabela said.

Linda May, the chapter's emergency services director, praised Kabela.

"She's with us every time there is a fire," said May, who started with the Red Cross as a volunteer with Kabela in 2005. "She is very dedicated. She hasn't missed being here very many days."

Kabela, 71, said seeing residents of the Crossroads help those in need has been uplifting.

"People want to help," she said. "Some people don't have a lot, but they come in and want to give something."

OPPORTUNITIES

Vendor booth space is available for the seventh annual Nordheim Market Days, April 23. Silent auction items are also being accepted. The event benefits the Nordheim Historical Museum. Call 361-938-7208 or 361-275-1326.

SAVE THE DATE

April 16, 27 - Advance wristband distribution for Victoria County Relay for Life. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., April 16, Victoria Mall; 3 to 5 p.m., April 27, American Cancer Society Office, 4401 Lilac Lane. Wristbands are needed for entry into Coleto Creek Park for the April 29 event. 361-578-2849.

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