Valley-area senior citizens go above and beyond to help community

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - Countless volunteers and organizations help senior citizens everyday but many seniors are just as zealous about giving back to the community.

Home Instead Senior Care in Huntsville is accepting nominations for Tennessee Valley-area seniors who have shown exceptional volunteerism.

This is the in-home care center's second year in running the "Salute to Senior Service" program. Nominations are accepted starting Feb. 1 through March 31.

Huntsville resident and veteran CASA of Madison County volunteer Karen Voelker won the local contest in 2012.

"I've been with CASA since 2011, so they've had a lot of hours out of me," Voelker said.

Voelker also volunteers at Huntsville Hospital and the Huntsville Botanical Garden but tending the CASA's community garden is her greatest joy.

"I love to grow things and just to know that I'm helping somebody," she said.

Home Instead Senior Care employees said they look forward to receiving more nominations this year.

"We're really excited to bring it back to Huntsville this year and have another local winner," said Home Instead Senior Care Marketing Director Julie Smith.

The program honors seniors who are 65 years or older and give at least 15 months of volunteer services.

Home Instead will donate $500 to each state winner's non-profit of choice. A national winner will receive $5,000 for a non-profit.

"What we have learned is that it keeps them healthier and happier and that's why we support senior volunteerism," Smith said.

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