This year the holidays were made brighter for many children and families in our community through Pat Robinson’ Toys for Kids (TFK) program. This holiday season, TFK helped to provide gifts for more than 340 children from approximately 135 families. This program would not be possible if not for the hard work and dedication from many “elves” who volunteer to collect, organize, wrap and distribute hundreds of gifts.
This year a couple elves, John and Ruth-Ann Dannenbring were surprised during the holiday event and awarded as United Way of Greater Yankton’s Volunteers of the Month. The Dannenbring’s spend many hours helping make the TFK program a success and this year even made a beautiful holding frame for the TFK sign outside of their headquarters. “John and Ruth-Ann always go above and beyond for so many, including the children”, stated Pat Robinson, who nominated the couple for the award.
We asked John and Ruth-Ann to tell us a little about their volunteer efforts:
We started volunteering with a variety of groups in 1974. We both started volunteering together last year, with the Toys for Kids program. It is a great project and we enjoy making Christmas a bit more special for the children. We have also helped with the Community Feast and have helped with dinners at the Homeless Shelter. Ruth-Ann enjoys knitting and crocheting hats, scarves and afghans for clients at the Homeless Shelter throughout the year.
We continue to volunteer because serving others through United Way ventures has brought to light, for us, just how many needs there are in our community. Each of those needs require the help of individuals with time to assist.
We feel volunteer work is enjoyable because giving and sharing of your time and talents reaps many rewards, like knowing someone else can smile and be happy, if only for an instant.
Our best volunteer experience is the joy in seeing how appreciative individuals are when they receive their gift from the Toys for Kids program. Some cannot believe strangers could care so much about their children! A very moving experience for both of us.
The advice we want to give to others thinking about getting involved and volunteering is that everyone has a talent to share, and there is someone out there waiting to appreciate it!
Thank you, John, and Ruth-Ann for making a difference in our community!
For more information on volunteering, or to nominate a Volunteer of the Month, please contact United Way of Greater Yankton at 605-665-6766 or firstname.lastname@example.org.