QUIET HEROES: Charles Veu Casovic, 83, Penn Valley
The group I volunteer for: Three years ago I started at Senior Citizen Center serving lunch and then The Lutz Center. Now I volunteer at the hospital (Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital) and the Hospice of the Foothills’ Thrift Store in Penn Valley.
What I do for the group: I shoot the breeze, tell jokes, tell lies, just keep them company. You sit and talk and listen, mostly listen. I try not to give advice, especially at the hospital. I just listen. Those who want to talk, I listen all day long.
How I got involved: Twenty years ago my wife got sick and we moved back to the family plantation in Kentucky. I nursed and took care of her until she died three years ago and that’s how I learned to do this. Then my daughter came to see me and said, “Dad, you have three choices: the insane asylum, the grave or Penn Valley, California.” And here I am.
Why I think this group’s work is important: Just to make people happy is a great thing.
The best thing that ever happened to me on this volunteer job was: I’ve met most of my neighbors and friends.
The rewards I get from this volunteer job are: The big thank-you everywhere I go. I don’t want any pay and that’s all I need. I wouldn’t do it for pay. On Sundays (in nursing homes) I visit people and they’re really appreciative. I’ve met every nationality there is. The beauty of volunteering is that you can come and go as you please.
Other volunteer jobs I’ve done: Next month I’ll start at the Interfaith Food Ministries only on Wednesday. I’ve also signed up for Hospice Terminally Ill counseling; that’s been my goal all along. I’m also in the RSVP friendly visiting program, seeing folks who are homebound.
I’ve lived in Nevada County since: The last three years.
I like living here because: Of my daughter and Penn Valley.
The most important job that faces us as a community is: The finances. Everything’s being cut. I lived through the Great Depression and it looks like we’re headed for another one. Also the threat of war which I think is unnecessary. Our elected officials don’t level with us.
I think volunteerism is important because: Everywhere I go they’re short of help.
“Quiet Heroes” appears each Thursday. If you know of a volunteer who is a quiet hero, call The Union newsroom at 273-9561.
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