Each year Lutheran Social Services chooses one volunteer to be honored at the Western New York Leading Age Recognition Dinner, held in Buffalo during May.
The agency's announcement was made recently at the annual Volunteer Luncheon held in the LSS Chapel, with Virginia Rumfelt chosen as Volunteer of the Year.
"You are all wonderful volunteers," Suellen Carlson, director of volunteers told the audience of more than 100 attendees. "It's hard to choose just one. This year's award goes to someone who is a stealth volunteer. Without fanfare, she humbly goes about helping others in many ways, and often we are not even aware of all that she does. She transports others on campus who no longer can drive. She is a quiet source of comfort and compassion for those who are terminally ill and dying. And, each week you will see her helping her son Pastor Dan with Sunday service here on campus.''
From right, Suellen Carlson, volunteer director for Lutheran Social Services, presents Virginia Rumfelt, with flowers and a certificate honoring her as the Volunteer of the Year. By her side is her son, Pastor Dan Rumfelt, LSS chaplain.
Mrs. Rumfelt accepted the honor with surprise and gratitude.
"There are so many others deserving of this honor," she said. "I am so blessed to be a resident of the LSS community and of Jamestown. I am proud of all the work, all the variety of programs, the dedicated staff, and the never ending care and thoughtfulness that is a part of our campus. I could search the world over and not find a better place to call 'my home'. Thank you for this wonderful honor."
Volunteers at LSS help transport residents to therapy, the beauty shop, dentist and podiatrist and accompany residents to doctors' appointment. They are friendly visitors and they run the gift shop.
"We appreciate all the love and laughter they bring to our residents." Mrs. Carlson said. "We interview each volunteer to learn their preferences and we match them to the activity they would enjoy the most."
For more information about volunteering at Lutheran Social Services, call Suellen Carlson at 665-8090.