Local Volunteers Nominated for NYS Senior Citizens Award

News from Aging, Posted on Mon, 04/07/2014 - 1:40pm
Cattaraugus County Retired Senior Volunteer Program

Cattaraugus County Retired Senior Volunteer Program

Mary Martello of Olean, NY
Betty Jean Greene of Portville, NY

The Cattaraugus County Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) has nominated two volunteers, Mary Martello and Betty Jean Greene, for the 2014 New York State Senior Citizen’s Award entitled, “Unleash the Power of Age.”  This award is to recognize older New Yorkers who have demonstrated the power of making a difference through civic engagement.  Each county has the opportunity to nominate two volunteers for this prestigious award.

Mary Martello has lived in the Olean, New York area all her life. During her 28 years working, she was employed at the Olean Tile Plant as a mount assembler. Mary is a proud mother of four children and has four grandchildren. Mary started volunteering for the Cattaraugus County Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) on January 11, 2002. Since that time, she has contributed 2903 hours to the Olean Senior Wellness and Nutrition program, Olean General Hospital, The Pines in Machias and Olean, Eden Heights, Underwood Manor, Absolut of Salamanca nursing facility, and is currently assisting with the Cattaraugus County Veterans Van Service scheduling medical appointments. When asked why she started volunteering, she said, “After I retired I needed something to do.” She noted that in her current volunteer position with the Cattaraugus County Veterans Van Service, she is motivated by wanting to give back to the veterans. When asked what has been her greatest reward from her volunteer experience, Mary stated it was “knowing that the veterans are getting to their medical appointments and getting the care they need.”

Betty Jean Greene has lived in Portville, New York all her life. During her working years she was employed as a clerk at several local retail stores. She also worked as a home care helper assisting people in their homes to remain independent. Betty Jean has four children, nine grandchildren, and 11 great- grandchildren. Betty Jean started volunteering for the Cattaraugus County Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) on January 1, 1994. Since that time, she has contributed 2709 volunteer hours to the Cattaraugus County Health Department, Olean General Hospital, and the American Red Cross. Currently she volunteers at the Health Department providing clerical support to the visiting nurses. The staff of the Health Department said, “We all look forward to Thursdays when we can see Betty Jean’s smiling face, her eagerness to help, and to experience her great attitude.” When asked why she started volunteering, Betty Jean said, “I’ve always felt the need to help others.” When asked what volunteering gives her in return, her reply was, “The gift of enjoying people.” 

David Rodkey, RSVP Coordinator and interviewer, wishes them both great success in their nominations and feels they are truly great examples of what older citizens can do in making a difference in people’s lives in Cattaraugus County.

If you would like information on becoming an RSVP volunteer, please contact David Rodkey at the Cattaraugus County Department of the Aging by calling 716-373-8032 or 800-462-2901.

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