Every year we celebrate National Volunteer Week in April and here at Wiesbaden, the garrison recognizes that many of the services the community receives would not be possible without volunteers.
“The spirit of volunteering is setting the time aside to put good intentions into helpful action. It keeps humanity connected and reminds us that no one can go through life without some form of outside assistance,” said Senior Religious Affairs NCO, Sgt. 1st Class Gary Durham, with the Religious Support Office on Clay Kaserne.
Durham explained that the RSO has between 30-50 volunteers on a weekly basis doing anything from helping to set up sound for religious services or singing to planning and coordinating Vacation Bible School or leading a small group in discussion on a spiritual topic.
“The RSO would not be as effective as we are without our volunteers,” Durham said.
Geraldine Wilson, the relocation manager at the Army Community Services said her gratitude to the volunteers is unlimited. “They supplement what we can do for the community and they gain experience too. It is a give and take relationship, and they only leave ACS when they find a job,” she said.
Volunteers are making a difference with the Red Cross, helping giving vaccines during the pandemic, the clinic pharmacy and at the Commissary.
The Wiesbaden High School is finding that many of their programs benefit from community volunteers.
According to David Brown, coach and Athletic Director at Wiesbaden High School, the Athletic Department simply could not function effectively without the help of community volunteers. “Their time, expertise and sacrifice to our programs is what makes them so special for our students. Our appreciation for what volunteers do here greatly exceeds any verbal praise I can offer.”
Kathy Welter, a retired teacher in Algebra, Precalculus, and AP Calculus, who volunteers at the high school said, “I volunteer with the Wiesbaden High School Afterschool Scholars Program. One reason that I volunteer is to see the success of the others. I volunteer to give help and in return, often time, I receive more back than what I have given.
“I think that it is important to see another view from the activity or a normal job. You view things differently. It is very, very necessary and I can give back to my community. Ninety-nine percent of the time the tutorial support is very well received.”
Dr. Heather Ramaglia, principal of the high school said, “We have the most outstanding support through our volunteer network at the high school. We have been fortunate this year to have Mr. Hubert and the 2nd Signal Theater Brigade volunteers coming out to guest teach our cybersecurity classes and lend expertise from the field.”
She explained the Brigade also coached and supported the students in competing in the National CyberPatriot competition this year. It was the first year for the high school to compete and the students took 1st and 2nd in the Gold Tier competition and she said that was due to the efforts of the volunteers.
“Our partner unit, the 102nd Signal Battalion, has also worked tirelessly to support any request we have had this year. They helped us move furniture and ready our building for the opening during the pandemic. They sent volunteers out when we returned from remote learning this winter to help ensure students were in the proper place on the bus,” she said.
The 102nd and the 485th came out on April 23 to honor students in the Hainerberg Complex and on Aukamm in a military salute for the month of the military child.
“In addition to these amazing unit volunteers, our Garrison in general has held nothing back when it comes to supporting the schools, helping us to plan and implement events, like graduation, and partner with us to ensure our community thrives. The servant leadership spirit in Wiesbaden is second to none!” Ramaglia said.