By Alan Sorensen
"Four volunteers with Brethren Volunteer Services completed their year of service this year and were invaluable," Tom Bolan, executive director of HRDC in Havre, said.
Each of last year's four volunteers had special jobs. One was with the transitional housing program, another was assigned to the domestic abuse program, a third helped with the CHIPS (children's health insurance) program, and the fourth served with the family partners program.
"Most of them not only help out with HRDC, but are the most devoted volunteers at the soup kitchen, help organize and collect donations for the give away house, and help out in their churches," Bolan said. "They're really committed to serving others."
HRDC plans on continuing its alliance with BVS and the volunteers for a long time.
"We hope to maintain a permanent presence in domestic abuse with BVS," Bolan said.
The reason HRDC only received two BVS volunteers this fall, Bolan said, is because BVS insists on rotating volunteers in now.
"They put a limit on us," Bolan said. "Two in the summer and two in the winter, so they're staggered."
Bolan said people visiting HRDC, and even some staff, are hard pressed to tell the BVS volunteers from the regulars at the agency.
"They really blend in with the staff here," Bolan said. "People don't know if they're volunteers or staff here; there's no clear distinction."
Bolan said Havre and HRDC made as a good an impression on BVS as the BVS volunteers have made on Havre. He said that HRDC threw a big dinner for the BVS executive director upon his visit to Havre and invited people from nearly every public and nonprofit agency in the area.
"Dan McFadden, the executive director, said he never got such a community-wide reception before."