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Saluting the volunteers

Posted: April 20, 2012 4:50 p.m.
Updated: April 23, 2012 5:00 a.m.
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Last week was National Volunteer Appreciation Week. Local resident Richard Lazar is an active volunteer at the Camden Branch of the Kershaw County Library, where he assists with shelving. The Library has many volunteer positions that are both rewarding and make our community better, including assisting with children’s programming, delivering material to the homebound, and teaching computer classes. If you’re interested in volunteering, give the library a call at 425-1508 or visit the library website www.kershawcountylibrary.org.

Since 1985, Emily McManus has been giving her time to KershawHealth, formerly the Kershaw County Medical Center. Even after health struggles of her own, she still volunteers every Tuesday in the Karesh Long-Term Care wing beauty parlor.

“I’m so thankful they let me come in and help out,” she said. “It’s a pleasure to be here.”
But from the staff at KershawHealth, they are the ones thankful for McManus’ help.

“Emily is a very special person with a heart so much bigger than her body,” Amy Kinard, director of volunteer services said. “I’ve only been working with the volunteers now about a year, but her long term connection to our organization is refreshing.”

Former volunteer coordinator Linda Branham remembers McManus well.

“She is simply one amazing woman,” Branham said. “She’s one of the most dedicated volunteers I’ve worked with. We were both young when we started out together and we’re still both kicking!”

Branham said she couldn’t “say enough” about how “wonderful, thoughtful and kind” McManus has been.

Since McManus began as a volunteer, she has held multiple responsibilities, from directing Karesh activities to spending one-on-one time with the patients.

Plus, she never comes in empty handed, said Rita Branham, who works in the beauty shop.

“Every week she does something special, whether it’s bringing in candy or homemade cards or quilts for the patients,” she said. “They really appreciate it.”

McManus said giving back to the Karesh Wing is important to her because both her parents, her mother-in-law and other relatives have received excellent care from the facility.

Because of health related reasons, McManus can no longer drive. So her husband, Johnny, drives her from their home in Rembert to the Karesh Wing every Tuesday for her four-hour shift.

“You know, she’s always thanking us for letting her come in to help, but she’s really the inspiration for us,” Rita Branham said. “She’s had a lot going on in her life and she still finds the time to volunteer. She’s incredible.”
McManus said she was born and raised in Camden and has three sons, two daughters-in-law, one grandson and three granddaughters.

“I really enjoy being here,” McManus said. “I like seeing the people. I’m just thankful I can still help.”

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