United Way Recognizes Volunteer Contributions

Editor’s Note: This is the third article in a four-part series highlighting volunteers for United Way agencies. Volunteers will be honored Wednesday at the Boys and Girls Club at 5 p.m.

Joe DiCarlo has been a longtime supporter of Family Service of the Chautauqua Region, especially through his invaluable contributions to its Program Committee. In this capacity, he provides oversight to all clinical programs at the agency. His years of experience proved especially critical when he brought the issue of bullying to the group last February. DiCarlo was deeply troubled by the latest tragedy linked to bullying and asked if Family Service could do something locally. This launched an initiative that will culminate in a day-long conference featuring a nationally prominent speaker this spring.

“This level of contribution is exactly what Family Service has come to expect from Joe,” said James McElrath, executive director.

Jennifer Brooks has tremendous organizational and leadership skills that she’s used to benefit Girl Scouts of WNY for the last six years. From serving as a Cadette troop volunteer to coordinating events to managing product sales, she is ensuring a better future for girls in the Falconer area. Jennifer believes all girls deserve to have the Girl Scout Leadership Experience and exhausts herself to provide it.

She is a wonderful example of the mission and truly believes all girls can and will make a difference. Denise Beeles-Johnson said, “Jennifer builds girls of courage, confidence and character who will make the world a better place. To do this one has to believe not only in the Girl Scouts, but in the girls.”

Jamestown Area Meals on Wheels has chosen to recognize the contributions of two local church congregations as their volunteers of the year. Members of the Christ First United Methodist Church and Bemus Point United Methodist Church worked this past winter to fill hundreds of “Blizzard Box” emergency meals. These were distributed to recipients of home-delivered meals throughout Chautauqua County for use when the weather was too dangerous to deliver that day’s meals.

“The congregations utilized the time between their church services during October to get these meals packed for us,” said Barrie Yochim, executive director for Meals on Wheels. “There is no way we would be able to assemble the people power needed to get this project done. We would have been using the national food provider to make the Blizzard Box emergency meal packs if we didn’t have the great help the churches provided us.”