Volunteer Week Time To Thank Those Who Give

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Trying to give something back to the community and finding something worthwhile to do are some of the reasons countless people in the Rim Country volunteer their services.

National Volunteer Week, which ends on Saturday, is just one way to show people the appreciation for that service they provide on a daily basis.

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RTA Hospice and Palliative Care in Payson couldn't operate without its 57 volunteers.

RTA Hospice and Palliative Care in Payson has 57 volunteers.

Patty Kaufman, human resources and volunteer coordinator for RTA Hospice, said last year more than 2,800 hours of help was donated to the clients it serves.

She said the 2,800 hours of volunteer help equates to more than $50,000 in donations or 24 percent of staff hours.

Rose DeVar, a volunteer at RTA Hospice for the past year, said she wanted to give some enjoyment to people in need.

"Being able to give back the blessings I have received is the reason I do this," DeVar said. "It gives me a sense of satisfaction."

Anne Sitko, who has been volunteering at RTA Hospice for 10 years, said she volunteers for personal reasons.

When her husband was ill, her doctor got hospice involved because she needed some help to care for him.

"It makes me happy when I can help people who are lonely and need someone to talk to," Sitko said.

Wanda Yocum, who has been volunteering at RTA Hospice for the past nine years, said this was an opportunity to help out the less fortunate.

"I was new to the community, and I wanted something to do," she said, mentioning she volunteers about six hours a week at RTA Hospice. "I feel like I am still a little bit useful."

Bob Miller has been volunteering at the hospice for almost four years, and decided to donate his time there because of his family's history with hospice.

"My stepdad was on hospice, and my wife is the hospice mom," Miller said.

He said he loves seeing the looks on the faces of hospice patients when he converses with them.

"A lot of the time, they do not have anyone," he said. "Seeing the satisfaction on their faces and the feeling in my heart is why I volunteer."

Robert Robison, who has been volunteering less than two years, said a friend told him about the opportunity, and he looked into it.

"We are all brothers and sisters, and we need to be nice your neighbors," Robison said. "I just like helping people. It helps me more than it helps them."

The Payson Police Department also uses a lot of volunteers to complement its force.

Since its inception in 2000, there have been 41,992 hours of work that was done by volunteers. The police department currently has 51 volunteers.

"We just overwhelmingly appreciate the effort they give us," said Police Commander Don Engler. "They contribute to us daily. Some programs would not be able to run without them."

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