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Lend A Hand recognizes volunteers

Lend A Hand of Boulder City recently honored the work of its volunteers.

“Without them, we wouldn’t be here,” said Shannon Eckman, Lend A Hand’s executive director.

During a brunch Saturday, Jan. 20, at Railroad Pass to thank its volunteer force, Eckman said Lend A Hand has 74 volunteers to help its 367 clients. These volunteers provide transportation, in-home services and companionship and facilitate equipment loan to seniors and disabled people in Boulder City. It operates on a donation basis, thereby not charging clients to help them.

Lend A Hand usually honors its volunteers at a dinner. This year, however, board President Georgia Wenzel said the organization held a brunch for the first time. The board also did not give out any individual volunteer awards as it had in past years.

“I started out to fill my day up,” Mary Boettcher said of why she began volunteering. “My dad had done it, and it was such a rewarding experience for him.”

Boettcher’s father, Jerry, was one of the original drivers for the nonprofit, which was established in 1989. She has been a volunteer since 2010.

“I lost my job, drove to town and signed up at Lend A Hand,” she said. “It saved my life.”

Fellow volunteer Dave Dempsey said he was “strongly encouraged” to start volunteering by a friend of his. Now he has been doing it for several years, and he said he enjoys it.

“The people are really interesting,” he said.

Husband and wife team Jerry and Lori McHugh have been volunteering for approximately 10 years. Both said they do it to give back.

“We want to give back because we’ve been blessed with so many things in this life,” Jerry said.

“I grew up poor,” Lori added. “This is my way of giving back to other people.” The organization assists seniors and disabled residents in Boulder City, helping them remain independent. Its goal is to improve their quality of life by showing them that someone cares, relieving their stress in getting places and helping them to stretch their budgets.

According to Eckman, Lend A Hand is in “desperate need” of more volunteers. Only about half of the volunteers on the current list are active.

“We do need more volunteers on a daily basis,” she said.

To volunteer, call Lend A Hand at 702-294-2363.

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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