Submitted to the WPR
The Colusa County Department of Behavioral Health hosted its 3rd annual Workforce Education & Training (W.E.T.) Action Volunteer end of year celebration on Sept. 8 at Sankey Park in Colusa. About 40 volunteers, Behavioral Health staff, Mental Health Board members and guests attended. The event is held each year in recognition of the volunteers and the hours of service they provide within the county.
The Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) training program was established in Colusa County in 2008 and it has grown to include 34 active volunteers in the county.
The volunteers complete a wide range of volunteer tasks throughout the year.
“Each of our volunteers work hard to give back to the community through this program,” said Colusa County Behavioral Health peer support specialist Valerie Stirling.
“Throughout the year, each of the volunteers donates his or her time to community projects, such as cleaning the Colusa County Fairgrounds, and the Sacramento Valley Museum, to lending a hand at special events such as coat drives and toy drives, and helping with the pumpkin patch on wheels project” she said. “This year our volunteers provided a total of 3,087 hours of service to the community,” added Stirling.
The volunteers also take an active part in the day to day operation and continued success of the Safe Haven Drop-In Center located at the Behavioral Health building.
Cristy Edwards and Louis Cairo’s donated the lunch for this year’s celebration and she commented that it was an honor to do so. “It is just wonderful what these volunteers do in the county,” said Edwards. It is my honor to be here and to provide this lunch,” she added.
The W.E.T. program is for consumers and family members and offers training and education through individual and community activities to support wellness and recovery. An individual must complete an application and a formal interview process to be selected for participation in the program.
During the September 8 luncheon, volunteers were awarded certificates documenting volunteered hours in the past year.
Those receiving certificates were Barbara Argain, Diana Arnaud, Jesse Barrera, Joe Bayliss, Elizabeth Gould-Benjamin, Susie Daly, John Davis, Ginger Harvey, Lazaro Hernandez, Amy Howering, Jeanne Irons, Angela Jaconetti, George McElligott, Cindy Moore, Donna Deaner, Teresa Ellis, Shauna Erdman, Angela Ferguson, James Fomin, Clint Galbraith, Maria Godinez, Jeff Gwinnup, Mavis Ortiz, Travis Pedigo, Ramona Rangel, Brenda Robledo, Thomas Saunders, Samantha Simpson, Raymond Smith, Amber Stallions, Ashley Upton, Loretta Were, Virginia Wilson, and Katie Marie Young.
Gould-Benjamin, Irons, Wilson, Robeldo and Jaconetti also received certificates for their efforts in compiling the soon to be published Colusa County Resource Guide. These awards were made by Debbie Naylor, Colusa County Behavioral Health adult service program coordinator.
Stirling, Naylor and Kathy Craigo each received gifts of appreciation from the W.E.T. Action volunteers for the support and assistance they provide to the volunteers and to the program. ■