In recognition of Older Americans Month, it is fitting that we recognize the value of Seniors who help others and whose experience brings so much to the community through their volunteerism. The community is better because of their efforts.
Mary Schweitzer has been a member of the Southeast South Dakota Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) for many years and is active in volunteering with several community organizations, one of which is Habitat for Humanity of Clay & Yankton Counties.
At Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore, located here in Yankton, Mary is a friendly and eager volunteer, always assisting customers, sharing in their enthusiasm about selected purchases, or helping them see how wonderful that lamp or side table would look in their home. The purpose of Habitat ReStores is to contribute to the work of Habitat for Humanity. When you support your local Habitat ReStore by shopping, donating, or volunteering, you are helping families build or repair affordable homes in the community. Without volunteers like Mary, this important component of Habitat’s mission would not be possible.
Because of Mary’s priceless time and dedication, United Way & Volunteer Services of Greater Yankton was honored to present her with the May 2023 Volunteer of the Month Award.
Cindy Erlandson, Habitat for Humanity’s Executive Director shares that, “Mary has been a faithful volunteer with us at the Habitat ReStore for almost two years. She spends three mornings a week with us as a salesperson and cashier. We are beyond blessed to have her as part of our Habitat Family. She is superb with our customers, staff, and other volunteers. We survive with the help of our volunteers and Mary is one of the best and holds a very special place in our hearts. Words cannot express how much we appreciate her.”
We asked Mary to share more about her volunteerism, in her own words:
“I have lived in the greater Yankton area since moving back from Denver Colorado in 1996 for 26 years.
I began volunteering for RSVP about 9 years ago but having raised a large family in the Watertown area I was also involved in Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Little League, Swim Team, school, and church activities.
I volunteer about 700 hours a year at Avera Majestic Bluffs, Yankton College, Yankton Contact Center, Habitat for Humanity ReStore and various times at St Benedicts Church.
In Yankton we are fortunate to have a wide variety of volunteer activities to choose from and can pick what we are comfortable with and fits our schedules. I have always been a support person and RSVP allows me to continue in that role.
No one volunteer experience stands out more than others. They all give my life a greater quality, from the people I volunteer with to the people we serve. Volunteering is good for the community and good for our own mental health.”
Thank you, Mary, for all you do.
To learn more about local volunteer opportunities or to nominate someone for United Way’s Volunteer of the Month Award, please visit www.yanktonunitedway.org/volunteer, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call United Way of Greater Yankton at (605) 665-6766.