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LEGISLATURE STUFF - Tip of the Hat to Volunteers

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 4/12/24 | 4/12/24

By Michael Ryan

CATSKILL - A few moments of respectful attention were given to a group of people who don’t do what they do for that reason, during a recent Greene County Legislature meeting.

Lawmakers were visited by representatives of the county Human Services Department (Aging & Youth), including Volunteer Coordinator Ruth Pforte.

They were there to honor  Global Volunteer Month along with lawmaker Edward Bloomer, chairperson of the County Services committee.

Bloomer read a proclamation into the record while Pforte unveiled RSVP Volunteer Program Contributions over the past year, noting the heartfelt efforts are “making Greene County a better place for seniors to live.”

“Every April, the week of April 21-27 is recognized throughout the United States as National Volunteer Week, powered by Points of Light,” the proclamation states.

The tribute is “an opportunity to recognize the impact of volunteer service and the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges, to build stronger communities and be a force that transforms the world.

“Each year we shine a light on the people and causes that inspire us to serve, recognizing and thanking volunteers who lend their time, talent and voice to make a difference in their communities, “Bloomer read.

“National Volunteer Week was established in 1974 and has grown each year as people strive to lead lives that reflect their values.

“The expression of civic life has evolved and doing good comes in many forms, and we recognize and celebrate them all.”

Bloomer continued, “the Greene County Department of Human Services relies upon volunteers as AmeriCorps Seniors to provide and assist with vital services for the elderly residents of Greene County.

“These volunteers are crucial to the department’s aging services, including home-delivered meals and transportation for medical appointments.

“Volunteerism empowers individuals to find their purpose, take their passion and turn it into meaningful change by solving our most persistent problems and create stronger communities with a more just society.

“It has long been a tradition for the county’s AmeriCorps volunteers to perform work of a high quality and to brighten the lives of others.”

Pforte provided boots-on-the-ground facts and figures, reporting that 181 volunteers contributed a total of 11,681 hours, last year.

While it is impossible to put a dollars-and-cents price on volunteerism, the Independent Sector sets a value of $35.71 per hour for a total of $417,128,51, Pforte reported.

There were 123 Homebound Meal Delivery volunteers, serving throughout the county, delivering 88,608 meals to 458 recipients.

Pforte reported that 24 Homebound Medical Transportation volunteers provided 1,339 rides to medical appointments for 101 clients.

And of the clients who received meals, 46 were veterans, while 11 veterans were transported to medical appointments and/or procedures, with 16 vets doing duty as RSVP Program volunteers.

“It is with great pleasure that we honor all our county volunteers and convey the sincere gratitude and appreciation of our citizens for the dedicated, selfless and compassionate efforts of these volunteers,” Bloomer concluded.

In other matters, lawmakers:

—Appointed Kathleen McQuaid Holdridge as a member of the Community Services Board for a 4-year term,, replacing Tracey Quinn.

—Authorized an agreement between Greene County Mental Health and 24th Street Psychiatry for professional medical psychiatric services at the rate of $170 per hour for up to 16 hours per week for 50 weeks.

—Authorized an agreement between Greene County Mental Health and Arthur McGinn, M.D., for professional medical psychiatric services at the rate of $185 per hour for up to 24 hours a week for 50 weeks.

—Authorized a contract between the Greene County Community Services Board and the Mental Health Association of Columbia-Greene counties.

The pact supports a Youth Clubhouse for $276,970, covering the period dating back to January 1, 2024, ending December 31, 2024.

—Approved an administrative fee increase within the county Public Health Department for providing and administering vaccinations.

The rise was based on a recent cost report by Venesky & Associates auditors, determining that the fee should leap from $35 to $37.25.

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