Since May 2000 through the present, Jack Schuh has been a Volunteer Leader for the Greater St. Cloud Area Retired and Senior Volunteer Program. As a volunteer leader, Jack serves as the eyes and ears in his community letting RSVP know of emerging community needs and refers potential volunteers to RSVP. In 2000 and 2001, Jack referred twenty-eight seniors to RSVP for enrollment. Jack’s service area is St. Joseph, but his connections in the greater community have brought in volunteers from several communities.
RSVP always has more volunteer opportunities than there are volunteers. We started the Volunteer Leader program as a way for current RSVP volunteers to share the benefits of volunteering and to build our volunteer base. Jack is very connected with many musical groups, exercise groups and social organizations. As he participates in these groups, he shares his joy of volunteering with others and encourages them to get involved. The twenty-eight volunteers Jack recruited for RSVP serve in a variety of settings including nursing homes, the local food shelf, and the Salvation Army. These volunteers he helped recruit are meeting the needs of people of all ages and helping to make their life a little easier.
In June of 2000, Jack became a widower. He and his wife had been active RSVP volunteers since July 1992. When his wife passed away, Jack saw a real need to continue to be active in the community and volunteer. He also saw many other seniors who had lost their spouse and were sitting around with nothing to do. He used his experience with losing his spouse and his love of volunteering to encourage others to volunteer.
I think Jack has really used volunteerism as a way to deal with the loss of his wife. As a couple, they volunteered several days a week at various agencies. Jack knows how important volunteer activity was to his wife and is able to carry on that part of her life for her. Jack often talks about the fact that many people he refers to RSVP have recently lost a spouse. He truly believes that it is the best thing to be among other people, and he conveys to them a sense of fulfillment through volunteerism.
Jack is an active 69-year-old man who is an excellent musician and shares his musical talents with nursing home residents throughout the Greater St. Cloud Area. Jack has been a member of RSVP since July of 1992 and has been involved with a variety of volunteer assignments. These include cablecasting city council meetings for the City of Sauk Rapids; being a greeter for the American Red Cross bloodmobile; safety fair fingerprinter for children; RSVP Advisory Council; Paramount Theatre usher; Inventor’s Fair helper; carpenter for a variety of agencies, and numerous other assignments. Jack’s outstanding people skills and willingness to help, make him a real asset to our program. We are very thankful he is willing to share his experience for the benefit of others.