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Buckner Westminster Place honors volunteers, launches volunteer reading program

In recognition of National Volunteer Month, Buckner Westminster Place hosted a luncheon for resident volunteers, family volunteers and volunteers in the community who make the residence a better place by donating their time. At the luncheon, Executive Director Wes Wells announced the launch of the Reading Friends program, a project initiated by former resident Don Williams.

Williams volunteered his time to read to fellow residents who had various forms of vision impairment. Wells was inspired by Williams’ actions and created a program in which residents and members of the outside community can read to residents who are visually impaired. Jeanine Faires, a resident in need of reading services, is excited and thinks that beyond the reading, friendships are sure to blossom.

“I am anxious for Reading Friends to start,” Faires said. “Even though I have a magnifying machine, it is still difficult for me to see. My doctor in Houston said I am legally blind, so any help I can get is greatly appreciated. I have devotional books I have not been able to read in a few years. Now that I have someone committed to reading to me, I can enjoy those books again. I think it is miraculous that my reading friend, Kimberly Shelton, wants to share her time with me. This young woman has two small children and runs her own business. I think it is special she wants to do this.”

Shelton is a committed volunteer at Buckner Westminster Place, and brings her poodle to visit with residents in memory care. She is excited to participate in the new reading program and cannot wait for it to officially launch.

“Bringing a smile to someone’s face is the most rewarding feeling,” Shelton said. “I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know all the residents and am looking forward to getting better acquainted with Ms. Faires. Each Reading Friends volunteer will be paired with one resident, so friendships are sure to be made and grow over time. Helping others and knowing that someone is counting on me makes me feel good. She’s looking forward to it, and knowing I can brighten her day really blesses my heart. I think it is important to share our energy and abilities with others.”

“We are so grateful for all our volunteers,” Wells said. “They make the community a better place and brighten the residents’ lives. It is a mutually beneficial experience for all involved. We plan to host this luncheon every year to honor and recognize those who share their talents, energy and time to help others.”

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