Susan Jolly and the Town of Montgomery Community Response Team will be honored at the 14th Annual Volunteer Appreciation Ceremony next Wednesday, 7 p.m., at Montgomery Town Hall. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the public will not be able to attend in person and thus the event will be live-streamed on the Town of Montgomery Facebook page.
This year’s ceremony will be different from years past due to the ongoing health crisis. Each year the Town of Montgomery Senior Independence Project (TOMSIP) has a volunteer of the year who is honored at an appreciation dinner in April. This event was canceled this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The health crisis caused many of TOMSIP’s older volunteers to step down, as they were at greater risk for having a negative response to COVID-19. When this happened, volunteers from the Town of Montgomery Community Response Team stepped up to provide services to seniors such as shopping, transportation, chores, friendly visits, telephone calls and clerical services. Because of their help, TOMSIP will recognize the Town of Montgomery Community Response Team as well.
Jolly will be awarded for going above and beyond the expectations of a TOMSIP volunteer. She went grocery shopping for a senior citizen and put away her food when she was not feeling well. When the senior citizen was suffering from congestive heart failure Jolly waited with her for eight hours while she was waiting to be admitted into the emergency room. Jolly paid her a visit several times while she was in the hospital. Shortly after that the senior citizen passed away.
“The last couple of days that she [the senior citizen] was alive she had somebody very special in her world,” Steed said. “I had gone to see her and she told me that she felt that Susan was her family.”
Jolly is grateful that she will be recognized as volunteer of the year. She noted that she has made many valuable connections while volunteering for TOMSIP.
“I did it basically just to give back to my community and I got a lot more than I expected,” she said.
The Community Response Team is also still accepting volunteers. Those who wish to join should call Response Team Volunteer Coordinator Meghan Hurlburt at (845)-741-2835.