Shepherd’s Centers of America (SCA) announces Sue Ducharme, with the Shepherd’s Center of Greenbrier Valley (WV), was nominated for the 2017 Donald Owen Smith National Volunteer Leadership Award. This award recognizes top volunteers with the Shepherd’s Centers of America network for their service in helping older adults live safely and independently in their own homes. This is the only national volunteer award recognizing the service of seniors to seniors.
“There are countless ways volunteers inspire others,” says Shepherd’s Centers of America’s Board Chair Ann McClung, who also serves as the chair of the local Shepherd’s Center. “Through the Shepherd’s Centers network, older adult volunteers perform simple, ordinary acts of care and kindness that make a remarkable difference in the lives of others.”
Volunteer activities include driving a neighbor to a doctor’s appointment or grocery store, or could be as simple as changing a light bulb, helping with minor home repairs, or offering companionship with regular, friendly visits. Says McClung, “These acts of kindness allow older adults to safely remain in their own homes and connected to the community.”
“Sue is an excellent candidate for this award,” says one reviewer from the national committee. She has served in many various roles with the Shepherd’s Center and is an exceptional example for other volunteers. “Sue embodies Shepherd’s Center ideals in how she is living her retirement,” says Teresa Bostic, executive director of Shepherd’s Center of Greenbrier Valley. “She is generous with her time and talents in growing our Shepherd’s Center and has been instrumental in laying the groundwork for a Continuous Care Retirement Community in the Greenbrier Valley.”
Annually, the Shepherd’s Centers network of 55 centers supports more than 13,000 volunteers who donate 660,800 hours of service. As a result, nearly 55,000 older adults are provided informal caregiving services at no charge. The estimated value of these services is $15.5 million, based on the Independent Sector’s value for volunteer time.
The distinguished Donald Owen Smith National Volunteer Leadership Award is given each year to recognize volunteers from around the Shepherd’s Centers network. Ducharme is a worthy nominee who embodies the passion, commitment and joyful caring of the Donald Owen Smith National Volunteer Leadership Award.