Jim Gaston has been named Columbia County’s RSVP Volunteer of the Month for October, and a special recognition award was given to Rachel Kelley for their volunteer work with the Rainier Senior Center.
Gaston has been delivering Meals on Wheels for Rainier Senior Center for 11 years. In addition to delivering a hot, nutritious meal, Gaston provides an important social connection to the recipient, according to RSVP Director Monica Cade, adding he is in a unique position to help watch out for his clients and report if they need special services.
“The people we deliver meals to are really fantastic,” Gaston said. “I just wish there were more programs to help them.”
Gaston has also coached kids sports for 40 years, coaching T-Ball all the way to Babe Ruth leagues, from rookies to minors to majors. He said he’s coached hundreds of kids over those years.
“I didn’t know anything about it,” Gaston said when asked about the award. “I was really surprised. It’s really an honor.”
RSVP presented a special recognition award to Kelley, who has been volunteering for the Rainier Senior Center for several years. According to Cade, Kelley puts in long hours at the senior center to make sure everything runs smoothly.
“She is there every day before the center opens until they close, and sometimes longer,” Cade said. “She does the decorating, helps the janitor, sets up the Meals on Wheels, serves congregate meals, runs the special garage sales, puts on the bakery donations, and is available on Saturdays to receive the bread delivery.”
Kelley serves on the board for the Rainier Senior Center, currently as secretary, but in the past has also held the position of treasurer. She also represented Rainier as the 2014 My Fair Lady Princess.
“Thank you, Rachel, for everything you do,” Cade said. “They couldn’t do it without you.”