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Changing Lives Through Volunteering

Matt McEntire_Susan Musfeldt - 392x304This month United Way and its Area Agency on Aging honored individuals and companies for outstanding volunteer work. Matt McEntire of Fort Worth and Susan Musfeldt of Arlington (both shown at left) received the Outstanding Older American Award and Outstanding Advocate for Older Americans Award, respectively, from United Way’s Area Agency on Aging at a May 4 Older Americans Month reception.

Matt has logged more than 1400 hours delivering meals to the homebound as a Meals On Wheels volunteer. He also visits hospice patients as a Kindred Healthcare Hospice volunteer, transports cancer patients to chemotherapy for the American Cancer Society and donates many turkeys to the annual St. George Catholic Church Thanksgiving basket community project.

Last Fall Susan established the county’s only “Memory Cafe” where people with a diagnosis of early-to-moderate stage dementia can socialize and enjoy refreshments along with those who care for them. She obtained permission from the Board of Directors at Grace Presbyterian Church in Arlington to use meeting space at the church for the Cafe and obtained a $5,000 grant to buy “senior-friendly” chairs. She also arranged for Alzheimer’s Association training for herself and the other volunteers who operate the Cafe.

Glen Sirles_300dpi_092315-249x249At the May 4 United Way Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, Glen Sirles (shown at left) was named the Individual Volunteer of the Year. He was a 2012 graduate of the Blueprint for Board Service program and went on to serve on the United Way-Northeast Steering Committee that year. Today, as the Northeast Steering Committee chair, Glen serves as representative on both the United Way Board and the Community Development Cabinet. He also has served on the Public Policy Committee.

“United Way is unique,” said Glen. “If my skills and time have moved us farther along toward our mission, then I’m happy with that.”

Alcon Laboratories was honored as the Large Corporate Volunteer Group of the Year. Alcon is involved with United Way year-round, hosting “lunch-and-learn” events to inform employees about United Way’s education, income and health “impact” work. More than a thousand Alcon employees volunteer at United Way agencies and other nonprofits annually on Alcon Community Partnership Day.

Lhoist North America (LNA) was celebrated as the Small Corporate Volunteer Group of the Year by United Way. The company established an LNA Community Involvement Committee and invited a United Way representative to serve with them. The group meets monthly to plan and implement volunteer and fundraising activities that engage employees and benefit United Way partner agencies.

Thank you to these outstanding volunteers and all others who give their time, energy and talent to make our community better.