Town shows appreciation to volunteers
By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Apr. 15, 2011
More than 400 volunteers provide services for other residents in the town of Glastonbury. On April 12, it was their turn to receive.
The town's Human Services Department staff provided a “Volunteer Recognition Reception” to thank the volunteers, who ranged from teens to senior citizens, for all of their efforts over the past year.
Among those in attendance were members of the Youth Advisory Council, the Friendship Circle, Peace Jam, AARP, and numerous volunteers who donate their time to teach classes at the senior center,
“You make a difference in thousands of lives here in Glastonbury,” Director of Human Services Patricia Schneider told the crowd, adding that children, teens, and seniors have been the chief beneficiaries of the efforts, but that the community at large has benefited greatly.
“Whether what you do has a global impact, helps a large group of people, or a little difference for one person who is in need, you are what makes this community such a great place to live and to work,” Schneider said. “We could not do what we do without all of you.”
That sentiment was echoed by others.
“We are very fortunate,” said Senior Center Director Maryleah Skoronski. “This event is a lot of work, but it's from the heart, because I know that without [the volunteers], we wouldn’t be able to offer the programs that we offer. They give their heart and soul.”
Skoronski said the town has not only a large quantity of volunteers, but high-quality volunteers, as well.
“So many people find their little niche,” she said, “and we put them to work.”
Ann Grabowski, director of Youth and Family Services, said the teens that volunteer in groups like the Youth Services Action Group and the Welles Village Activity Council for Youth are vital to her department.
“We couldn't do a lot of the work that we do in the community without the kids,” she said, adding that she was glad that so many of them attended the reception.
“I think it’s great that we recognize them,” Grabowski said. “They just recognize that they get something out of volunteering - that it's a reciprocal relationship. They just really make the work we do easier.”
It seems that spirit of giving is a constant for the many volunteers. The town staff members, who were waiting on their guests, had to turn down many offers for help.
“It's funny,” Grabowski said, “we’re trying to wait on them, and the kids are asking if they can help.”