April is National Volunteer Month in the U.S. and at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in Yonkers they’ve put three volunteers in the spotlight to help encourage others to follow in their footsteps. The center has about 40 volunteers. National Volunteer Month was created in 1991 as part of President George H. W. Bush’s “1,000 Points of Light” campaign.
“I know I’m making a difference,” said volunteer George Vasilakis, a high school senior. “All the evidence I need is in Maria’s face, that lights up when she sees me, or in Kevin’s laugh.”
Volunteer Evelyn Foley, a nurse at St. John’s Riverside Hospital, said of the children, “I see the qualities of courage and acceptance for what they have to deal with in their lives.”
Jeanne Holcomb, a retiree who has volunteered at the center since its establishment in 1988, is its longest-serving volunteer. “I try to discover what makes them laugh and that first laugh establishes a rapport,” she said.
Volunteers at Elizabeth Seton must be at least 17 and commit to a minimum of three months of service.