Volunteers are an important part of any organization. Without the effort of those willing to give up their time and energy, many organizations wouldn’t be as successful as they are. This is the situation with Santa Clara-based Heart of the Valley. With a microscopic budget and minimal operating hours, if it wasn’t for the dedicated 700 volunteers, HOV wouldn’t be able to provide services to seniors throughout the South Bay. To honor those who do so much, HOV celebrated its Volunteer Appreciation Cookie and Ice Cream Social at Santa Clara United Methodist Church on April 27.
In addition to recognizing volunteers, the event gave HOV the opportunity to discuss many of the exciting ventures happening at the organization. While volunteers and supporters dined on cookies and ice cream, other volunteers spoke about how HOV has changed their lives. The Crew, a prize-winning singing group from The Fun Time Singers, performed two songs for guests.
Valley Christian Junior High School’s Robotics Team gave a presentation demonstrating their award-winning project for helping seniors. The group, whose average GPA is 3.8, talked about their invention that helped one HOV client – a legally blind, wheelchair bound man. The team developed a sensor placed on the client’s wheelchair that would alert him when he was approaching a wall so that he could move out of harm’s way.
In another presentation, Santa Clara University professor Buford Barr explained how students in his capstone class have come up with ideas on how to better market HOV to potential clients and donors.
Volunteer Don Barnett read from “Come Say Hello Before I Go,” a book of poetry written by 95-year-old client Sol Carson that Barnett helped get published. Carson’s poetry touches on subjects from the love he has for his now-deceased wife to lessons he’s learned throughout life.
Dennis Moore, a board member and volunteer, talked about HOV’s partnership with YourMechanic, a company that will come to a home or place of work to service a vehicle; the HOV branded coffee program; and the organization’s vehicle donation program.
Another board member and volunteer, Siddharth Venkatesh, presented information on the revamping of HOV’s website to include a store, Pet Corner, and job board, and the organization’s jump into the world of social media.
Finally, the event served as the launch of HOV’s along-awaited cookie cookbook, “Cookies from the Heart.” Many of the recipes were made and available for tasting to help entice volunteers to purchase the book, which includes a cookie for canine companions.
HOV’s updated website should be launching in a few weeks, but in the meantime, “Cookies from the Heart” can be purchased for a suggested donation of $20 by calling the office at (408) 241-1571. Information on purchasing HOV’s coffee is also available by calling the office. Visit www.yourmechanic.com/heart to set up an appointment for repairs or call (800) 701-6230 and mention Heart of the Valley. Carson’s book can be purchased for $8 by contacting Don Barnett at (408) 504-2360. For additional information on volunteering, donating or becoming a client call HOV or visit www.servicesforseniors.org.