C.E.F.S. recently honored volunteers whose impressive volunteer services have helped C.E.F.S. reach their mission. Four local residents were among those honored. They are Sharon Bludworth, Betty Ann Clark, Suzie Hopper, and Gerald Walk.
C.E.F.S. Chief Executive Officer, Paul White stated, “The agency recognized outstanding acts of volunteerism and civic involvement to help transform lives and to build stronger communities”. He added, “The agency and program accomplishments would not have been attained without the shared commitment, dedication, and involvement of our outstanding volunteers”.
Sharon Bludworth, of Effingham, has been a volunteer for C.E.F.S. for three years through the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP). Bludworth volunteers for the Effingham County FISH Organization, the Effingham County Committee on Aging Senior Center, Effingham Performance Center, the Golden Circle Nutrition Program, HSHS St. Anthony’s Memorial Hospital Auxiliary, and the Midland Area Agency on Aging.
RSVP Program Specialist, Amy Ellis said, “Sharon stands out because of her enthusiasm and willingness to help others, wanting to be active and make a difference in her community during her retirement years. Sjeron is committed to helping others and when asked to do a new volunteer activity she accepts the challenge cheerfully and does her best to complete the activity as expected. Sharon always has a smile on her face and is kind to the recipients of her good deeds”.
Betty Ann Clark, of Beecher City, has volunteered for seven years at the Golden Circle Nutrition Program site in Beecher City, as well as at The Cross, Effingham County FISH Organization, and Heartland Christian Homes. Nutrition Site Supervisor, Jennifer Carroll, had remarked that Betty’s caring attitude, willingness to help out in any way, and genuine love for others stands out. Betty is willing to cover for others when they unable to.
Suzie Hopper, of Shumway, has been a volunteer for the Golden Nutrition Center Program Site in Beecher City for many years as a home-delivered meal volunteer. While delivering the meals to home-bound seniors, Suzie spends some of her time visiting with the seniors, leaving them with a smile.
Jennifer Carroll, Beecher City Nutrition Site Supervisor stated, “Suzie is an outstanding volunteer who truly cares about the seniors that she delivers meals to, treating them as if they were her own grandparents. Suzie is humble and does not realize just how much she does for others. Suzie doesn’t just deliver a meal, she also delivers smiles!”
Gerald (Jerry) Walk, of Sigel, is a volunteer for the C.E.F.S. Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. The VITA Program offers free income tax preparation to low-income residents. Gerald volunteers at the Effingham County Outreach office 1-2 days a week during tax time, preparing and completing tax forms for the low-income Outreach clients. Gerald focuses on confirming that all tax returns he does is accurately completed in a timely manner. Gerald has been described as happy, well-mannered, and a joy to have in the outreach office by Housing Councilor, Diane Depoister.
C.E.F.S.’ mission is providing opportunities to people through education and support so that they can achieve and maintain self-sufficiency. C.E.F.S. has provided social services for over 51 years for low-income clients.