Goodman Community Center | Volunteer Spotlight: Cheryl Smith

Volunteer Spotlight: Cheryl Smith

Volunteer Cheryl Smith splits her time between Food Pantry, Senior Meal and Phone Pals

February 15, 2024 |

I have been a Goodman Center volunteer for nearly two years. After retiring from a twenty-five-year career as an elementary school teacher, I looked for opportunities to continue helping others. I was excited to learn about the Goodman Center and was fortunate to contact Susan Ramspacher. I love to cook, I enjoy good food, and I believe everyone deserves food security. Therefore, I was immediately attracted to the food programs the Center provides.

I work as a Grocery Guide in the food pantry on Tuesday mornings. I enjoy welcoming people and helping them select items. I’ve become friends with people who use the pantry, and I enjoy seeing them each week. It is wonderful to assist people who need a boost to their weekly grocery needs. I also enjoy working with my fellow volunteers.

On Thursdays, I enjoy serving food and doing other tasks involved with the Senior Meal. It is another opportunity to develop relationships with attendees and my co-workers. It is rewarding to know people are getting a delicious, hot meal and have the chance to socialize with others. I love everything about it, from preparing the salads, to serving and even washing the dishes!

I also volunteer in the Phone Pal program. This involves a weekly phone conversation with a senior citizen who may be confined to their home or may not have opportunities for socializing with others. Since we started talking about a year ago, my Phone Pal and I have become very good friends. She cares about me just as much as I care about her. We talk about everything, especially our children and grandchildren. It’s been a wonderful opportunity to develop a new and caring friendship. We are looking forward to meeting in person soon!

I very much enjoy my time as a volunteer at the Goodman Center. Volunteering is one of the most rewarding things I have done in my life, and it is an opportunity to give back to the community. Volunteering helps define who I am and how I want to live this stage of my life. The feelings of warmth and friendship I receive from the people at the Goodman Center remain with me throughout the week.

I live with my husband, Dan, on a small farm in the Driftless Region west of Madison. We have three grown sons and four grandchildren. I love to read and cook, and we enjoy taking long hikes with our two dogs on the beautiful trails near our home. Volunteering at the Goodman Center makes all the wonderful things in my life even better!

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