Local organizations are focusing on the efforts made by the volunteers.


National Volunteer Week runs from April 15 until April 21 with several ways to give back to your community.


Dansville Rotary Club Member Jon Shay shed some light on what makes the heart and soul of a volunteer.


“The service clubs in Dansville are an excellent way for people to become active volunteers, and the Hospital and the Library can always use volunteer help. The hospital auxiliary and the women’s civic club would always welcome additional members,” he said. “Any community with a strong core of volunteerism is a healthier community. One can always volunteer at any of the churches and for sure the area Comfort Care homes; such as the Vincent House and the Teresa House are always looking for volunteers. I’m sure there are areas in the schools that effectively utilize volunteers.”




American Red Cross Chief Communications Officer Jay Bonafede told Genesee Country Express about an important nationwide campaign coming to the area.

“Sound the Alarm” is a nationwide effort to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by house fires.

“We are always recognizing our volunteers for the service they do,” Bonafede said. “Ninety-four percent of our organization is volunteers. We can’t do anything without them.”

The Greater Rochester Chapter is holding a “Sound the Alarm” home fire safety and smoke alarm installation event on Saturday, May 5. Red Cross volunteers and local partners will be canvassing neighborhoods, installing 550 free smoke alarms, replacing batteries in existing alarms, and helping families create escape plans.

“Home fires are the biggest disaster threat we face, killing seven people in this country every day,” said James Love, Greater Rochester Chapter Executive Director. “Here in Greater Rochester, we responded to 208 home fires last year. Please help us Sound the Alarm by volunteering to install smoke alarms in your community, making a financial contribution, or taking steps to protect your own family from home fires.”

“We want to bring new volunteers on board to help with this campaign,” Bonafede said. “This is a year long campaign. If someone wants to help us in any way we always appreciate it.”

Nationwide, the Red Cross will Sound the Alarm through a series of smoke alarm installation and fire safety events in more than 100-high-risk communities. From April 28 through May 13, Red Cross volunteers and partners will install 100,000 free smoke alarms. These events are related to the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, which since 2014 has helped save lives through smoke alarm installations and home fire safety education in thousands of communities.

The “Home Fire Campaign” is making a difference. As of Feb. 28 the Red Cross and our partners across the country have saved at least 381 lives, including 16 in Western and Central New York.

For more information, or to schedule an installation appointment, please visit www.soundthealarm.org/wcny



Christa Barrows, coordinator of Living Healthy and Volunteer, told Genesee Country Express about all of the important ways people can contribute to the hospital.

“We need a lot of help in the gift shop. Most of our volunteers leave for the winter,” she said. “We have 88 volunteers at various departments.”

The volunteer mission is about giving back to others.

“With a mission to come alongside staff, providing an extra dimension of care and support to patients and their families,” Barrows said. “I would say volunteers are the heart of our team.”

The three volunteers highlighted on April 18 during the Noyes Volunteer Lunch are Barry Davis, Gail Cox, and Judy Marshall-Stekl. Others will include the six volunteers who reached 500 hours of volunteer service.

A big part of the volunteer efforts comes from Livingston County Retired Senior Volunteer Program run by Kathy Knopp.

“We get a lot of our volunteers from that program,” Barrows said. “They recruit people who are retired, and send them to different places. They make sure they find the place they are interested in volunteering.”

Anyone interested in volunteering at UR Medicine/ Noyes Health doing the following; Spice Box Gift Shop, Chaplain Volunteers, Living Healthy Workshops, Welcome Team, In-home respite care, or clerical work can visit www.noyes-health.org or call Barrows at 585-335-4358.

UR Medicine/ Noyes Health volunteers have given a total of 11,726 hours since last year. This translates to $283,065 for the hospital.



Dansville ArtWorks and Vincent House also need volunteers for different aspects of the non-for-profit organizations.

“We all pitch in to volunteer at Dansville ArtWorks,” Dansville ArtWorks Board Member Jeanne Gridley said. “My husband has done a lot of work on the shop.”

If anyone is interested in the arts, and would like to lend a helping hand they can visit www.dansvilleartworks.com or contact Dansville ArtWorks Board President Nicole Alioto.

“This place is growing and expanding all the time,” Gridley said. “People can check out our website or Facebook if they are interested in volunteering.”

Mary Jo Jacobs, Vincent House Development and Volunteers Director, is always looking for volunteers at their organization.

“What we did here at Vincent House for our volunteers was distribute shirts. I also made up a “Volunteer Appreciation Station” with a thank you note and candy bar attached for each of our volunteers,” she said. “

"After all … our volunteers are the heart of Vincent House and not only give comfort to our residents and families, but support to each other and the staff. We are truly blessed.”

If you are interested in volunteering at Vincent House visit their website at http://www.thevincenthouse.org