ALBANY — Volunteers serving with the Southwest Georgia (SOWEGA) Council on Aging and members of the Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) have been honored by Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard for their efforts in improving the quality of life for senior citizens in Southwest Georgia.
Hubbard said the efforts of the volunteers motivates her in her role as mayor of Albany and making an impact on Albany.
“I think they mean everything to the community,” Hubbard said. “The government can’t do everything so these are the people who give up their time, talent and resources to make our community better. Volunteers help to make our community better and stronger. They do the things that we as a government could not afford to do and they do it because they care, out of the goodness of their hearts. A lot of these people get personal satisfaction out of this.”
One such person is Don Gray, who started by helping with Meals on Wheels and various projects before joining the ramp building crew in 1999. He said being able to see first hand how his actions impact those that need has kept him going throughout the years.
“We do what we do for people who can’t help themselves, especially with the wheel chair ramps,” Gray said. “These people are very much in need,” he said. “It’s very rewarding to see them come out, with a smile on their face and say thank you to us for us doing the things we’re doing.”
The Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) was organized in Albany in 1972 and is funded by the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), United Way of Southwest Georgia, and local contributions. the local RSVP unit was the first RSVP program in Georgia to be funded.
The SOWEGA Council on Aging is in its 50th year. Kay Hind, executive director of SOWEGA Council on Aging, said it’s a great feeling to see the programs grow into what they are today.
“It’s wonderful, it’s grown it’s gotten more recognition,” she said. “We have more volunteer stations. They can do volunteer work at any non-profit or government agency…it’s a great program.”