UM Children's Home honors volunteers


The United Methodist Children’s Home recently hosted its annual Volunteer Appreciation Dinner.

In attendance were special volunteers who visit with youth on a weekly basis.  These mentors are called Visiting Resources, and their help is invaluable to every UMCH program. Also present were volunteers from the Governing Board of Directors, Foundation Board of Directors, Mt. Vernon Friends Auxiliary, and Centralia Friends Auxiliary.  The Friends make an impact on youth in UMCH programs, by helping with lunches, picnics, birthday parties, and holiday celebrations.

“We see how valuable your contributions are every time a youth gets excited when her visiting resource pulls up on campus, every time a youth gives a big hug to their favorite Friends lady, and every time a youth benefits from a prayerfully reached board decision… the real value of volunteers is measured in smiles,” explained Joan Minor, Volunteer Coordinator for UMCH.

In 2009, UMCH totaled 118 volunteers who donated 1,400 hours of their time. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service, one volunteer hour in Illinois is valued at $22.50. If we were to calculate a monetary value on volunteer time at UMCH in 2009, it would come to approximately $31,500.

The Corporation for National and Community Service bases the value of volunteer time on the average hourly wages of all subordinate workers (as determined by the Bureau of Labor Statistics). Then this figure is increased by 12 percent for benefits.

Special Recognition
Debra Chauncey has been volunteering as a visiting resource since August of 2008. For two hours nearly every week, Debra mentors a 16-year old Residential girl named Danielle. They have formed a great relationship, and Danielle’s face lights up every Tuesday when “Mrs. Chauncey” arrives. In 2009, Debra donated about 64 hours of her time to UMCH.
Dawn Eggemeyer began with UMCH as an intern with the Professional Foster Care program. Before her internship even ended, Dawn made it clear that she wanted to continue working with the youth whom she had already formed relationships. She officially became a volunteer in November 2009, and just in two months, Dawn donated 63 hours to UMCH!
Wish Sims is a member of the Mt. Vernon Friends Auxiliary, where she has served as treasurer for the past several years. Wish is another face the youth recognize as a dedicated volunteer who takes the time to get to know them when she sees them. Wish volunteered 40 hours in 2009.
Lisa Thatch started volunteering in April of 2008 as a visiting resource for a 15 year old girl named Mikayla. If you happened to stop on campus while Lisa was there, you would most likely see her kicking a soccer ball with Mikayla who loves to stay active. Lisa donated about 40 hours to UMCH in 2009.
Ellen Walker has been an integral UMCH volunteer for many years as both a board member and as the founder of the Mt. Vernon Friends Auxiliary group. Many of the youth recognize Ellen by sight as the sweet Friends Lady who is at nearly every birthday party, the Christmas party and the picnic. In 2009, Ellen donated 41 hours to UMCH.
Volunteer of the Year
Mary Suddarth has been volunteering at UMCH for years. In 2009, Mary was the Mt. Vernon Friends Auxiliary president and served on the UMCH Governing Board of Directors. She also spent many hours working with the CEO Search Committee to secure the new UMCH president and CEO. Her passionate support for the youth and families we serve is clear – nearly every UMCH event included Mary as a volunteer, from the chili cookoff, where she stood in freezing rain to help sell baked goods, to the annual golf tournament, where her help was invaluable to setting up the event. In 2009, Mary donated over 70 hours to UMCH.