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February 2010

Joined Hearts in Giving
Honoring Long-Married Volunteers Who Give Back to Their Community

An AARP report estimates that 73 three percent of adults age 44 to 79 volunteer. According to a 2002 Bureau of Labor Statistics study, Americans age 65 and over who volunteer contribute more time (an average of 96 hours per year) than any other segment of the population. More than one-third of senior volunteers reported that they volunteered because they wanted to give back to society some of the benefits they received individually, and they wanted to enhance the moral basis of society. Senior volunteers stated most often that the ability to help individuals meet their needs and the feeling that those that have more should help those with less were major motivations that drove them to be volunteers in their community.

Joined Hearts in Giving

Without volunteers, many organizations and programs, such as senior centers, food pantries and Meals on Wheels, would be unable to provide the help that so many Ohioans depend upon. Through their commitment to their marriages and their shared volunteerism, they make their communities, our state and our country better places to live.

Joined Hearts in Giving, a joint recognition of the First Lady of Ohio and the Department of Aging, honors couples who have been married for 40 years or longer and who actively volunteer in community service. The chosen couples represent all regions of the state. Here are a few examples of these exceptional couples.

For almost 14 of their 67 years of marriage, Fred and Ethel Wolff of Mansfield have volunteered with the Senior Health Assessment Program of the Mansfield Ontario Richland County Health Department, helping with paperwork and setting up tables and chairs. They have faithfully helped serve senior lunches at the Mifflin Care Center Friendly House Community Center for more years than even the program director can remember.

Bob and Lorraine Jurgensen of Worthington have been married for more than 65 years. Both have been involved in their church's community support programs and Meals on Wheels. Through the VFW, Bob routinely helps in fundraising and frequently visits fellow veterans to help resolve concerns they may have. Lorraine has worked with hospice for 26 years, volunteering in home care and assisting in nursing home hospice care.

Irving and Zerda Malkin of University Heights, married 62 years, have helped hundreds of low- to middle-income older adults and disabled individuals prepare their tax returns through Tax Aide, a free, national AARP program. They also teach basic computer skills to people age 50 and older and monitor trails for Cleveland Metroparks.

Henry and Jean Schrader of Stow have been married for 56 years. Since 1966, they have worked with the Caregivers Program, visiting elderly patients in up to four nursing homes each week. Hank leads the rosary and takes communion to seniors in area nursing homes, senior centers and in private homes. Jean helps coordinate the funeral ministry at their church and also makes candies and baked goods for nursing home residents.

In observance of Valentine's Day, Frances Strickland, First Lady of Ohio, and the department will honor these outstanding citizens for their dedication to marriage and volunteerism at the 11th annual Joined Hearts in Giving celebration Friday, Feb. 12, at the governor's residence in Columbus. These honored volunteers range in years married from 43 to 67, ages 65 to 90 and from three to 61 years of volunteering.

The 2010 honorees are:

  • Stanley and Hope Adelstein, Pepper Pike
  • C. Forrest and Katie Amidon, Bellefontaine
  • Urban and Dorothy Arbogast, Republic
  • Jeffrey and Denyce Babbitt, Lancaster
  • Arlan and Virginia Beemer, Reading
  • Allen and Elizabeth Brokaw, Marietta
  • John and Judy Burke, Avon Lake
  • Paul and Ramona Burkhart, New Bavaria
  • Hugh and Barb Cahall, Mt. Orab
  • John and JoAnn Covelli, Sr., Sidney
  • Marvin and Marilyn Jacobs, Toledo
  • Robert and Alice Jurgensen, Worthington
  • Ronald and Mary Leeders, Louisville
  • Daniel and Mary Lehigh, Dover
  • Irving and Zerda Malkin, University Heights
  • Glenn and Catherine Maxwell, Sr., Bellaire
  • Earl and Betty Miller, Wheelersburg
  • A. Aaron and Charlene Miller, Beallsville
  • Henry and Jean Schrader, Stow
  • Richard and Cynthia Sutton, Blanchester
  • Fred and Ethel Wolff, Mansfield
  • James and Marcia Yasinow, Lyndhurst

The department solicited nominations from Nov. 1 to Dec. 15 for the Joined Hearts in Giving award. Couples were chosen from around the state. Photos and brief bios of the Joined Hearts couples will be posted to www.aging.ohio.gov/news/joinedheartsingiving/ after Feb. 12, 2010.

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