Updated: Jul 2, 2021
The greater Yankton community is fortunate to have many individuals who demonstrate the true spirit of giving through their dedicated service to others. Individuals who put the needs of others before their own, who are caring, compassionate and who have an internal desire to change lives and improve our community.
Two great examples of this are Calvin Starzl and Maurice Meredith, both of whom are active volunteers for River City Domestic Violence Center (RCDVC) and recent United Way & Volunteer Services of Greater Yankton’s Volunteers of the Month.
Anna Meredith, Survivor Service Coordinator at RCDVC and daughter of Maurice, had this to say about the two volunteers, “Cal has assisted our agency in raising awareness about sexual assault by building a traveling clothesline which our agency can now transport to raise awareness. Our Occupational Therapist’s dream of a survivor led Garden Project also came true because of Cal’s carpentry skills. His determination, generosity, and support of our mission is an inspiration.”
“Maurice does not live in the Yankton area, but comes and spends hours repairing and improving our safe haven. He has fixed broken toilets and weather stripping and has also assisted in awareness month by laminating ribbons. Maurice has been reliable in assisting our agency and truly cares about RCDVC’s mission. We are so appreciative of the work he has done for our agency.”
We asked both Calvin and Maurice to share in their own words more about their volunteer efforts:
I have lived in Yankton area since 1970 and began volunteering 15 years ago. It started with making Adirondack chair sets to be auctioned off at Scared Heart School Galas each year.
I continue volunteering because I get to use my different talents in my wood shop, and we all need to help each other out in our community.
I volunteer at River City Domestic Violence Center/River City Family Connections, Sacred Heart School, Mazing Acres, Gavins Point National Fish Hatchery, and Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Sioux Falls.
Volunteer work is enjoyable because you know you are helping other people.
My best volunteer experience was redoing an original bookcase in the original Sacred Heart School for Sr. Margo. She wanted the bookcase free standing and not attached to the wall. It was brought to my shop and I refinished it. It was taken back and was a surprise to Sr. Margo. It is now in the new Sacred heart Middle School building.
The advice I would give to those thinking about getting out there and volunteering in their communities is the feeling of helping other people is well worth the time and talent you have.
I have lived here in the Yankton area since my family moved to Yankton from Mitchell, SD in the summer of 1971. My wife and I moved to Springfield, SD and started our family in 1983.
I began volunteering in 1995 when my son started boy scouts and athletics. I continued to volunteer my time with my daughter’s activities as she grew up and still assist whenever possible.
I continue volunteering because I enjoy helping others and offering any guidance they need. As a father to a daughter, I continue to volunteer with River City Domestic Violence Center because I am supportive of their mission and their drive to assist others in getting out of abusive relationships.
I am currently only volunteering with River City Domestic Violence Center, but have assisted with various youth sports programs, boys’ and girls’ scouts, and Springfield elementary school extracurricular activities. I use my maintenance skills to repair and install various building projects for RCDVC.
Volunteer work is enjoyable because I enjoy helping RCDVC maintain and improve their shelter facility because everyone needs a safe space. Small maintenance tasks add up over time, so staying on top of routine maintenance extends the life of a facility that serves a huge need in our community.
My favorite volunteering experiences have always been being able to help my own children and even grandchildren with various activities they participate in.
The advice I would give to those thinking about getting out there and volunteering in their communities is it really does not take a lot of time to use your skills to assist someone or an organization.
To learn more about local volunteer opportunities or to nominate a Volunteer of the Month, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call United Way at (605) 665-6766.