Our community is blessed to have a number of volunteers dedicated to making life easier and more joyful for our residents and staff. As we celebrate Volunteer Appreciation Week April 7-13, we’re putting the spotlight on two of them who make a difference in our community every day.
Jeff Wood (pictured above, left) has been volunteering for Presbyterian Manor almost as long as he’s been golfing. Jeff has been a chiropractor of 29 years.
“I’m an avid golfer—not a good one, just an avid one.”
He’s been playing 28 years, and about 25 years ago, Jeff was invited to be on the Good Samaritan Golf Tournament committee. About 10 years ago, he became co-chair with Jan Pringle.
“The hardest part is getting people to donate. That’s why we have the committee. My capacity is to be at the tournament as a figure head, sign thousands of thank you letters for donations or ask for donations, be in charge of the sound system and set up the sponsor signs on the golf course. We also play in the tournament. And I can put on my radio DJ voice and do all the radio spots for it, too. It’s one of those things we’ve been doing for a long time,” said Jeff.
Jeff’s involvement with the community got more personal five years ago when his brother, Harley Wood, came to live here. You can occasionally find Jeff playing Bingo, and he used to be on the advocacy committee. The former professional musician has also shared his talents with residents when his band used to play here on occasion.
“I like volunteering for the Presbyterian Manor because I’ve always enjoyed hanging out with older people. I think it’s the entertainer in me because I don’t get to entertain much anymore … whether they like being entertained or not is a whole different thing! I don’t think of it as volunteering. I’m just on a committee that I’ve done forever,” said Jeff.
A minister at Bible Christian Church in Arkansas City, Richard Leighton has been volunteering at our community since 2015, providing Bible studies and chapel services with other pastors from the Ark City Ministerial Alliance. Richard is shown above, right, with his wife, Stephanie.
“I teach the doctrines of the Bible and encourage the residents to continue educating themselves in their personal faith. In addition, I give them guidance, practically speaking, so they can be active in service and encouragement to their neighbors at the Presbyterian Manor,” said Richard.
Richard’s experience here has been more than just putting in the hours, he’s also making friendships for a lifetime.
“I have made some lifelong friends through volunteering at Presbyterian Manor and love the fellowship the residents share with me when they tell stories and give hope through their own life experiences. Many times, I am personally encouraged by the residents. I go in excited about being able to share but often times leave feeling like the people I am called to serve have just ministered to me. It is wonderful and inspiring to be a part of that exchange,” said Richard.
Thank you, volunteers, for all that you do for us! We appreciate you!