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City of Turlock celebrates National Volunteer Week
Turlock Together
The Turlock City Council recognized Volunteer Week and Month at their last meeting, honoring all of the city’s many residents who dedicate their time and resources to helping those in the community, like during the annual Turlock Together toy and food giveaway pictured above (Journal file photo).

Local volunteers were recognized during the latest Turlock City Council meeting on Tuesday in accordance with National Volunteer Week. Mayor Amy Bublak made a proclamation, thanking the hundreds of volunteers from the multiple organizations throughout Turlock.

“Volunteers make up hundreds of individuals in our community, representing a wide array of individuals volunteering in various departments throughout the city of Turlock,” Bublak said. “The public should be knowledgeable about volunteerism and the efforts of volunteerism, improving the quality of life in our community.”

Police volunteer Skip Young and Marissa Guillen of the Turlock Explorers program accepted the City of Turlock’s proclamation on behalf of the community’s volunteers.

“I’ve only been an explorer for a couple months, but it does not take long to notice the dedication and the passion that all of these volunteers share,” Guillen said

Bublak also made note that volunteerism goes deeper than just those working with government agencies, such as the two who were recognized at the council meeting. Turlock is home to a number of non-profit charity organizations, including the Salvation Army, United Samaritans and WeCare.

Scott Qualle is the assistant director for the Turlock branch of the United Samaritans. He explained that while the United Samaritans are based out of Turlock, their mission is to serve all of Stanislaus County.

“We serve about 1,500 meals every day from our trucks and we go into Modesto, Keyes, Ceres, Hughson, Turlock and the westside,” Qualle said. “We also have an emergency food box program for families at the end of the month and a daily senior lunch.”

The foundation, which has 20 dedicated employees and dozens of volunteers, also has an eye glass program to help seniors pay for eyeglasses, as well as a program that helps pay for people's prescriptions.

“Our main source of helping clients is our feeding program, but we also try to assist them to an overall better quality of life,” he explained.

The WeCare Program is a similar organization, as they offer meals to community members in need and offer services like emergency sheltering and homelessness prevention. The program was founded in 2003.

A local organization that has been present in Turlock over the course of several generations has been the Salvation Army. Like WeCare, the Salvation Army offers numerous housing and homelessness prevention services, as well as senior services. They also offer services for local children in need.

Volunteers are an essential part of each of these organizations, and they are always looking for community members to help. Individuals interested in volunteering can contact each local organization through their official websites.

“The City Council recognizes these men and women as true public servants who promote the highest ideals public service,” Bublak said. “[They] set an example for others and prove that anyone with drive and determination can be of service to their community.”

National Volunteer Week is celebrated every year on the third week of April. April is also considered to be National Volunteer Month. Local celebrations will conclude on Saturday during the 11th annual Love Turlock community service event, where volunteers will participate in projects and activities throughout the city.