Mercy honors volunteers

In honor of the 40th anniversary of National Volunteer Week, Mercy Unlimited held an appreciation luncheon Thursday at R J’s Coffey Cup to give thanks to all its volunteers, and to hand out the 2014 volunteer of the year and runner-up volunteer of the year awards. 

Barb Fuller was chosen out of 18 people to be recognized as volunteer of the year and Donna Ellinger was runner-up.

“They both go above and beyond the call of duty,” Mercy Unlimited Volunteer Service Coordinator Charlene Smith said. “If we’re in a jam, they’ll come in an extra day or two to work.

“With these awards, we just want to show them that what they do is noticed and appreciated.”

Mercy Unlimited is a non-profit organization based in Wapakoneta that runs a thrift store, a food pantry and provides emergency shelter to the homeless. They also help with emergency prescriptions for the sick and work with the Auglaize County Sheriff’s Office to provide financial assistance to the chaplaincy team at the Auglaize County Corrections Center. The organization has been serving East Auglaize County for 25 years. 

To determine who would win the volunteer awards, the 12 people employed by Mercy Unlimited voted on who they wanted to be selected based on the things they’ve done, their level of commitment, time spent at Mercy Unlimited and their interactions with customers and clients.

In 2013, Fuller logged 318.5 hours of volunteer service, working mainly in the lower level donation center, sorting through incoming donations such as clothes and household items. She determines if the items are fit to be sold, or if they need to be sent elsewhere for repairs. She volunteers three days a week, usually from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

“It’s an honor to be awarded out of everyone here,” Fuller said. “I was very surprised to be chosen out of all the volunteers.”

Fuller said volunteering has allowed her to acquire many friendships, and she enjoys interacting with Mercy Unlimited employees and the clients it serves. 

Those who voted for Fuller said she is a hard worker who never runs out of energy, and that she is always positive and full of life. 

She has been a volunteer since March 21, 2011.

For the full story, see the Friday, April 11 edition of the Wapakoneta Daily News.