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Director recognizes center’s volunteers

This past week, Brunese Thomas took the time to recognized and honor her volunteers for their dedication and service over the years. She presented each of them with a card expressing her heartfelt thanks for being good volunteers. Pictured are, first row from left to right, Chrys Boggart, Gwen Johsnon and Brunese Thomas. Pictured are, second row from left to right, Addie Cross, Betty James, Gloria Hughes, Janet Childs, Jessie Deoright, Thelma Salter, Doris Rogers and Edna Ruth Norsworthy. Volunteers not pictured are Curtis Green, Gwen Darget, Leon Singleton, Mary Dixon and Reva Motes. (Journal Staff/Beth Hyatt)

This past week, Brunese Thomas took the time to recognized and honor her volunteers for their dedication and service over the years. She presented each of them with a card expressing her heartfelt thanks for being good volunteers. Pictured are, first row from left to right, Chrys Boggart, Gwen Johsnon and Brunese Thomas. Pictured are, second row from left to right, Addie Cross, Betty James, Gloria Hughes, Janet Childs, Jessie Deoright, Thelma Salter, Doris Rogers and Edna Ruth Norsworthy. Volunteers not pictured are Curtis Green, Gwen Darget, Leon Singleton, Mary Dixon and Reva Motes. (Journal Staff/Beth Hyatt)

While time may be one of the most precious items we have, it is certainly not the easiest to give up. Brunese Thomas, director of the Luverne Senior Citizen Nutritional Center, understands the importance of giving one’s time to serve those in need. This past week, Thomas took the time to recognized and honor her volunteers for their dedication and service over the years. Thomas has served as the director for the center for 23 years, and knows that volunteers are the heart and soul of the establishment. “We could not run this center without the volunteers,” said Thomas.

Volunteers are responsible for serving meals at the center, preparing and carrying out meals to those who are homebound and also for coordinating activities for seniors at the center. The members and volunteers at the center also participate in projects around the town, such as delivering candy canes to those who are homebound and each year orchestrate a Christmas lunch at the center. Each member of the group brings a homemade dish and the group comes together to celebrate the holidays and enjoy a time of fellowship. “I’ve heard people say that if they didn’t have this, they probably wouldn’t get out of their pajamas,” said Thomas. “This is good for those to get out and meet people their age.” Members must be over the age of 60 to participate in activities at the center.

Thomas has also taken time over the years to construct a wall for those who are “Gone But Not Forgotten.” On this wall, she hangs photos of those who have come through the center either as members or as volunteers in order to remember the times the group has shared with these individuals. Some featured on the wall have passed on, but many have merely moved to the surrounding nursing homes and still receive visits from the center members.

Thomas is grateful for every volunteer she has had the opportunity to serve with, and she looks forward to many more future volunteers to come her way. She tries daily to instill in her staff the importance of what they do, and how even the smallest act of kindness can impact the lives of those they serve. “It makes them feel like they’re involved and doing something. I don’t care what you try to do, if you involve people it makes them feel more connected to what you’re doing,” said Thomas.