Geneva College
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Geneva staff member Vernice McChesney shares a moment with volunteer Lois Miller.

Geneva couldn’t do without its dedicated group of volunteers who were honored at a luncheon earlier this year.

Institutional Advancement’s mailing specialist, Vernice (Jones '67) McChesney, works frequently with the volunteers and knows this well. She recently shared her perspective:

‘Volunteers are like Hallmark cards—they care enough to give their very best.’ This is part of a poem given to me by one of our volunteers, Dottie Sterrett. I’m not sure who wrote it, but I agree.

My job has been to call volunteers when we need help with mailings. Sometimes the mailing takes a few hours, and sometimes, it takes days. What a relief to me, when I hear a cheery answer to my question for help. ‘How soon do I need to be there? Is one o’clock soon enough?’

Our group includes retired professors, pastors and their wives, a retired bank executive, a retired accountant and a former Geneva trustee. These are just a few of the folks who are so gracious to take time, a precious commodity in today’s world, to work for hours without pay to help Geneva College.

We have several different types of activities for volunteers to choose. The mailings usually involve stuffing envelopes with two or three pieces. One of the benefits of this activity is the time to talk and share stories with others. I have heard many tips on cooking, caught up on family news and found out who roomed together in McKee Hall.

Another volunteer has worked for years in planning the homecoming parade. That involves hours of planning and organizing ahead of time for an exciting hour and a half, hopefully not in the rain.

Many people from the community as well as our staff begin preparing in late fall for the Mancini night in May. Their interest in the arts and in our youth keeps them going as they attend the high-school musicals and look for ways to encourage the talented. When the big night arrives, with about 14 schools and crowds of teenagers, the trophies are ready and the celebrities are here. Whatever the need, we have a group of willing hands.

Our volunteers are good examples of Jesus’s direction to His disciples to serve others. Our students often stop to talk with the volunteers and ask what we are doing. This is a good time to impress on them the opportunities to help others without thinking of our rewards, whether in pay or benefits.

At our recent luncheon honoring our volunteers for their service, two students from the music department sang an old song, “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better.” But anything we can do, we do better with our volunteers there to help us.


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