“I do it because I enjoy it. I don’t volunteer many places, just the Y, because it makes me feel like I am giving back.” -Bob
Bob Jamieson started volunteering at the Southtowns Family YMCA’s Young Explorers Camp in the summer of 2016. He attended Grandparents Day as a “substitute grandfather”, spending the day with a four-year-old boy whose own grandparents couldn’t be there. They had such a great time together that Bob wanted to volunteer more at the Y. For the rest of the summer, he regularly came in and read books to the campers.
After summer camp was over, Bob signed on as a volunteer in the Y’s School Age Child Care program. There he spends two mornings a week at Eggert Elementary School, serving breakfast and playing games with the kids. “I do it because I enjoy it,” says Bob. I don’t volunteer many places, just the Y, because it makes me feel like I am giving back. I like being with the kids because it gives me a break from the old people with all their aches and pains! The biggest thing about it is that they like me. I’ve learned that just knowing their names goes a long way. It’s a wonderful feeling when they trust you, they are genuine about it. I am enjoying the luxury of having a few more years as a grandpa.”
The Southtowns Y front desk often gets calls from parents in appreciation of Bob, saying he’s a great role model for their children. Associate Executive Director Jessie Bari says, “While Bob insists that he volunteers because it makes him feel valued, we have seen the immense value he’s added to our program.” Bob has been named the Southtowns Family YMCA’s Volunteer of the Year, an honor both the kids and staff say is well deserved, and because “Grandfather of the Year” isn’t an option. Congratulations and thank you for all you do, Bob!