Wooster Senior Honored for Dedicated Volunteer Service
Anna Duke receives Josephine Lincoln Morris Volunteer of the Year award
As a two-sport athlete in high school, Anna Duke had precious little free time to volunteer, but when she came to The College of Wooster and experienced the institution's ethos regarding service to others, she decided to investigate the opportunities available through the Wooster Volunteer Network.
Her search led her to nearby West View Healthy Living, an assisted-living facility about two miles east of campus. "I was really close to my grandparents, and I have always enjoyed working with the elderly," she said. "Volunteering at West View seemed like a natural fit."
And indeed it was. For the past three years, Duke spent countless hours as a "jack of all trades," according to West View's volunteer coordinator Jackie Wolff. "Anna was willing to do anything we asked," said Wolff. "She assisted with physical therapy, took residents to chapel, and participated in activity sessions. She developed great relationships with everyone."
Duke's commitment to the residents of West View Manor led administrators of the Wooster Volunteer Network to select her as the recipient of 2015 Josephine Lincoln Morris Volunteer of the Year award, which recognizes exemplary service to others.
"She was very passionate and totally committed to her work there," said Hannah Olson, president of the Wooster Volunteer Network. "She is very deserving of this honor."
As part of the award, she will receive a check for $300, which she will donate to West View Manor's music and memory program. "I wanted to leave something that would be helpful for the residents," said Duke, "and I think this program is very beneficial."
And speaking of benefits, not only did Duke's three years of service provide invaluable assistance to the residents, it also laid the foundation for her Independent Study (Wooster's nationally acclaimed senior research project). Duke used her experience at West View to chronicle her four years in a manuscript, titled "Silver Hair and Golden Hearts: Stories of the Residents, Staff, and Caregivers at West View Healthy Living."