Community Caring Week comes to an end

The final “Live United” T-shirts were out and about Friday as Community Caring Week came to a conclusion for this year. About 90 volunteers throughout the week volunteered in different locations around the county performing various duties – from cleaning vans to serving food.

Members from SUNY Fredonia were out Friday volunteering at Dunkirk-Fredonia Meals on Wheels, Chautauqua Adult Day Care and Literacy Volunteers. Members from SUNY Fredonia’s Human Resources Department volunteered with Meals on Wheels while members from the President’s Office, including President Dr. Virginia Horvath, helped out at the Chautauqua Adult Day Care in Dunkirk. The trio of Horvath, Denise Szalkowski and Michael Szalkowski worked on cleaning a van owned by the adult day care. One of the volunteers for Meals on Wheels, Stephanie McMasters, said this was her first year volunteering, adding her office chose to deliver meals.

“Our office volunteers every year for the United Way,” she said.

Horvath, once done at Chautauqua Adult Day Care, went to Literacy Volunteers to organize and clean bookshelves at the bookstore. She said she was pleased to be able to use her skill set for organizing books and have the ability to stand instead of working in front of a computer.

“It’s good to be out there and doing something different. Over at the Adult Day Care, I wasn’t involved in caregiving but it was nice to see the people who were there and see how hard people work everyday,” said Horvath. “I feel, as a person who just drops in, if nothing else I can help them with one little thing but they’re here every day. It’s a nice reminder of how many people work in the community.”

Martha Wiser, Literacy Volunteers board member and bookstore manager, said the United Way has sent other volunteers to help with cleaning or even moving. Earlier this week, Wiser said volunteers helped clean the bookstore.

“When we moved here four years ago, we had quite a few of United Way people help us move. We’ve had them various times other years. It’s hard to clean bookshelves. They did a beautiful job,” Wiser said.

Both Wiser and Horvath said they enjoyed the new system the United Way offered this year. Volunteers could go online and pick where they would like to volunteer throughout the week. Horvath wished there were more evening and weekend volunteer opportunities.

“I think they were people who were interested in books and bookstores. It’s just so good to have volunteers who come and sort books for us, clean the bookshelves and to make some decisions about books we should keep and books we should recycle,” Wiser added.

United Way Administrative Assistant Patti Fickelscherer said the week “went very well.” Volunteers also worked at Shorewood Country Club Friday to assist the Boys and Girls Club with their annual golf tournament. The week-long events helps brings awareness of the need out there to the surrounding communities.

“Community Caring Week continues to be an event that brings awareness of the needs of United Way’s community partners. It is also an event that allows the community to experience first hand how their donations are used,” United Way Executive Director Deborah Tederous said.

If anyone is interested in volunteering for the United Way, visit for volunteer opportunities.

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