RSVP celebrates volunteer service

Thursday, June 8th, 2017

Columbus County RSVP recently celebrated volunteer service with a recognition luncheon. RSVP Volunteer Dewey Ward was presented with the Outstanding Volunteer of Year award.

Ward drives a handicapped accessible van to pick up volunteers participating in a singing ministry. He has dedicated six hours each week to this service for more than 5 years, Without Ward’s commitment, approximately 10 volunteers would be unable to participate in this important volunteer opportunity. Because of Ward’s dedication, the RSVP volunteers are able to minister to others in long-term care facilities. This is essential because research demonstrates that 60 percent of individuals in a long-term care facility never receive a visitor. This means they do not see family, friends, former colleagues and members from their faith community.

Ward’s volunteer service not only helps the residents in the facility, but it helps the RSVP volunteers through physical activity and socialization. Research further demonstrates that volunteerism increases one’s longevity through a happier and healthier lifestyle. Ward has an abundance of patience, kindness and compassion. Though he is a man of few words, his actions speak loudly and clearly. His commitment and love for the passengers is reciprocated. In addition to this service, Ward volunteers his time and talents at Southeastern Community College and his church.

At the time Ward was chosen for the RSVP Outstanding volunteer of the Year award, he was also selected to receive the NC Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service by Governor Cooper’s office.

“It’s a terrible challenge selecting one recipient,” Dr. Melody Prevatte, RSVP director, told the audience. “There are so many of you who deserve special recognition and Dewey is just one.”

Prevatte went on to commend the volunteers for the outstanding work they are doing in their communities. Columbus County RSVP volunteers kept 51 seniors living safely at home by building entrance ramps or installing safety bars; and, 24 families receive home delivered meals each day. Approximately 61 families benefitted from the food RSVP volunteers donated during the Christmas season last year. Forty-one military service members received a holiday card written by RSVP volunteers sharing encouragement and support while they are away from family. Volunteers helped students succeed in school by listening to them practice their reading. Eighty-eight percent of the children served by a RSVP volunteer demonstrated increased academic skills.

“These are just a few examples. RSVP volunteers are making a difference all across Columbus County!” Prevatte concluded.

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