A large contingent of volunteers was feted at the Estherville Good Samaritan Society's annual volunteer luncheon Monday.
Besides recognizing Lisa Sue Hansen as Volunteer of the Year - an award Hansen very well deserved - other volunteers were honored for their commitment to the residents of Good Sam.
"You do all make a difference," said activities director Brenda Dahl, noting how volunteers have contributed their musical talent, helped with mailing and making copies and visited with residents. They've also donated their time and talents through the Auxiliary.
"Whatever it is, your contribution is great," Dahl said. "It's appreciated."
And volunteering at our senior care facilities does make a difference. In fact, it makes a huge difference in people's lives.
And it doesn't really take that much. It could be coming by to pay a visit, whether it's a relative, neighbor or family friend. There are treasure troves of stories to be heard.
As Rhonda Russell, activities assistant, told volunteers, "You might be the only person other than the staff that they see in a week."
Fortunately, our area schools bring in children for music programs, art and other activities in our senior homes. What a way to match up the enthusiasm of youth with the wisdom of our elderly.
But it's something that should continue - not end with school.
There are lessons that our seniors can tell us - how they lived through and survived the Great Depression, how they fought in World War II and Korea, how they saw the ups and downs of America's prosperity and recessions.
These are lessons we all need to hear and to understand if we are to truly succeed at life.
Yes, our elderly will benefit by our visit.
But we'll benefit even more.