EDITH J. CLAYTON

Daily Point of Light # 3005 Aug 11, 2005

Edie impacts everything and everyone at VSA. Unquenchable curiosity draws her to challenges and opportunities that people and events around her provide. Her contagious enthusiasm is particularly helpful to new volunteers who’ve experienced personal crises. She is gifted at satisfying their need for compassion while encouraging them to look forward.

VSA’s CEO compares each of Edie’s contacts to a new-planted cherry stone. After planting this stone, a gardener proceeds to other projects. Fruit trees take years to bear fruit; a busy gardener may thus never see the results of her effort. Edie plants ideas and dreams in people. She tends to hearts needing attention and nurtures positive feelings. Though she’ll never remember every kind thing done or every encouragement given, those she touches “bloom” because of her spirit and care. We see it in others and feel it within ourselves.

Compassion and a desire to help; we observe these in everything Edie does for VSA, other agencies, and individuals. Because much of Edie’s service is in the public eye, she is a visual reminder of the vibrancy, talent, and wisdom that senior citizens can contribute to their communities.

Edie is talented and energetic in many areas of service. She frequently engages in unique activities that complement day-to-day duties. Edie assists Easter Seals with clerical tasks. This summer, she assisted township police by directing spectators to safe locations to watch a fireworks display that Easter Seals sponsored as a fundraiser.

Edie was among the first to enroll in Ohio Citizens Corps. To assist VSA in staffing an emergency Volunteer Reception Center, Edie completed Community Emergency Response Training. She subsequently helped trained scores of additional VRC volunteers. She maintains VSA’s Go Box (essential VRC material/equipment), and after training sessions, restocks depleted supplies.

Edie coordinated recent efforts to enroll volunteers in Citizen Corps, contacting McDonald’s managers to use their restaurants as sign-up locations. She enrolled and trained volunteer recruiters. Edie assists American Heart Association staff with bulk mail projects, assembles Heart Walk participants’ fundraiser kits, and contacts schools to update Association files regarding critical contact information: changes in administrators, addresses, phone numbers, etc.

This spring, Edie answered a Mahoning Safe Communities request to help launch a safety campaign by dressing as a Crash Test Dummy, mingling with local media, posing for photos with first responders, and distributing publicity paraphernalia. At a spring community exposition, she answered visitors’ questions about VSA, its programs, and its volunteers opportunities and promoted sales of VSA’s fund-raiser cookbook. She recently helped VSA inaugurate the Inter-Denominational Youth Coalition, first administratively and later as a volunteer participant. As an RSVP program aide, Edie is invaluable, maintaining up-to-date and according-to-Corporation-standards files. Edie was our natural, immediate choice when a radio talk show host invited a spokesperson to represent VSA in an interview about volunteer service. Edie also serves Volunteer Service to Seniors, helping make one-to-one matches of frail elderly persons living alone with volunteers who assist with day-to-day shopping chores and provide transportation.

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