Name: Victoria Bender
Employment: Retired registered nurse
Family: Husband, Robert, two daughters and five grandchildren
Years of service as a volunteer: 25
Favorite volunteer activities: Coordinating youth group trips to Kentucky. This was an annual trip with approximately 20 teenagers doing home improvement projects for disabled and elderly people in Kentucky. Community members would request our help with various items, including window replacement, painting, floor repair, installing faucets and general cleanup. The temperature was in the 90s, but these young people worked nine hours a day in exchange for a large smile and a "thank you."
For the last 12 years, being a Faith in Action volunteer has provided numerous opportunities to help older adults improve their quality of life and remain independent as long as possible. Along with many other volunteers, I have provided transportation to medical appointments, taken someone grocery shopping, made friendly phone calls and done light housekeeping.
Tell about a volunteer experience: As a Faith in Action volunteer, I did the laundry for a gentleman with muscular dystrophy. In between laundry loads, we talked and I asked if there were other things he would like done. He told me that he would like his kitchen "picked up and bathroom vanity cleaned." As weeks went by, we developed a routine; I would start the laundry and discuss the week that had passed, and do any cleaning that was requested. I still smile when I think about those afternoons.
Helping Hands is submitted by United Way Volunteer Connection-RSVP, which can help you find volunteer opportunities that match your interests and availability. Log on to www.unitedwaymc.org and click on Volunteer, or call 211.