United Way Volunteers of the Year honored

(Editor’s Note: This is the third in a three-part series recognizing recently honored “Volunteers of the Year” through the partner agencies of the United Way of Northern Chautauqua County.)

The United Way of Northern Chautauqua County and its partner agencies are jointly recognizing the dedication of local residents to make the community a better place to live, work, and raise a family.

Carol Oliveira

Carol has been a Meals on Wheels volunteer for over four years. She delivers meals to the elderly who can no longer cook for themselves due to physical or mental limitations. Carol, who is secretary for the mayor of Dunkirk, volunteers during her lunch hour every Thursday to deliver 10-12 meals. Along with her delivery, Carol checks on each client’s well-being and has established many friendships along the way.

She also serves as vice vhairperson of the Meals on Wheels Board of Directors and serves on two board committees. Studies have shown that states could avoid costly and unnecessary nursing home care simply by doing one thing; investing in Meals on Wheels.

Ivelisse (Ivy) Higginbotham

Ivy Higginbotham is a longtime supporter of the YWCA-Westfield, serving as a board member and current chairperson of the board of directors. She is usually the first one to arrive and one of the last to leave events and activities. Upon occasion she has recruited her family members as volunteers. She has been calm and collected in the face of some challenges the YMCA has faced and is a great asset to the organization.

Joelle Washer

Joelle has been a member of the board of directors since 2010. She currently serves as president and recently chaired the search committee that identified the new executive cirector. She has also been an active member of the fundraising team for the agency’s annual event. Her leadership and commitment to this mission of Family Service of the Chautauqua County is a shining example of excellence.

The United Way of Northern Chautauqua County has a long history of collaborating with local employers to provide volunteer experiences for their staff. This can be a one day experience offsite at a local not-for-profit or an ongoing partnership with a specific program.

The new website, www.volunteerwny.org, can be used to manage corporate volunteerism by marketing specific opportunities to staff and then tracking their involvement over time. The site can provide valuable reports for the person coordinating the effort.

Companies interested in exploring how to engage employees in corporate social responsibility should contact United Way at 366-5424.