Volunteering is often a thankless job, one in which persons commit to tasks with no expectation of any recompense. Pontiac Health Care and Rehab, however, decided to shine a light on those who selflessly serve. Kathy Finkenbinder, the rehab center’s recreation services director, hosted a luncheon for upwards of 50 volunteers at Edinger’s Filling Station at noon on Tuesday.
    The context of the luncheon was a local celebration of National Volunteer Week, the goal of which is to promote and show appreciation for volunteerism in both the United States and Canada. Given that, Finkenbinder felt that the national occasion warranted a local touch.
    “Pontiac Health Care and Rehab are honoring our volunteers, of which we have 50, who all help out at the facility in various ways,” she said. “They help with crafts, games, outings, baking goods among a host of other things. Today, we’re honoring them as it coincides with National Volunteer Week.”
    The luncheon, Finkenbinder noted, was themed “Volunteers Make the World Much Brighter,” and the table cloths and place mats were made to be “very colorful.” She extended her thanks to Jimm Edinger for allowing the rehab center to host its luncheon there.
    The recreation director said that this was the first time that Pontiac Health Care and Rehab had opted to host the luncheon outside of the facilities, because it was felt that the volunteers who freely offered their services deserved an additional sort of honor.
    “We decided to treat our residents to something a little extra special,” she said. “They come to the facility on a regular basis, so we thought we’d take them outside the facility and giving them an extra treat for all they do. Also, it’s a little easier this way, since our volunteer numbers have been growing, so the space at the facility is getting a little small to host something like this, where we can go all out to do.”
    Ultimately, Finkenbinder felt that the work done by volunteers was crucial not only to the success of Pontiac Health Care and Rehab, but of any line of work that uses an extra helping hand.
    “We only have two hands, and there’s only so many of us,” she said. “The residents feel that — they know that for the employees, it’s a job and we get paid for what we do, but a volunteer gives from the heart. They take the little free time that they have, and make the residents’ days brighter.
    “Celebrating National Volunteer Week is important to let the volunteers know how vital and important they are, to remind them that their work is appreciated and to show them that their commitment doesn’t go unnoticed. We live in such a busy society, that it’s hard to give of your spare time and do things above and beyond, but these volunteers do, so we should recognize that.”
    After the luncheon, Sheriff Tony Childress spoke to the volunteers on the topics of identity theft, scam and other safety reminders, and the volunteers were given wallets designed to protect against identity theft by Pontiac Health Care and Rehab.