Volunteers were honored Thursday at the Women’s Haven volunteer reception at the Community and Senior Citizen Center.

Lisa Harper, director of education volunteer coordinator, said, “I think it’s important, because we need to show our appreciation because without them our agency would be in a lot of trouble. I don’t know what we’d do without them.”

The reception was part of volunteer appreciation week.

Harper said she wanted to do something more and different to honor volunteers.

At the reception, volunteers were given certificates and treat bags with seed packets, small note pads and candy.

Plaques were ready for two volunteers, Neva Kitsmiller and Jerri Garrett, although only Kitsmiller was present to collect her plaque for her years of volunteer service.

Kitsmiller has been a volunteer at the agency since it first opened in 1995. Garrett has volunteered since 1999.

So far this fiscal year, which started in July, the 13 volunteers have put in about 2,000 hours of work with most of the time coming from answering the crisis line after hours.

The volunteers have done more than just answer the crisis line. They helped with the Women’s Haven garage sale, gave time to help with an informational booth and attended monthly volunteer meetings.

Kitsmiller said she got involved with Women’s Haven because of an article she saw in a paper.

“I read an article in the paper and I decided I needed to do something,” Kitsmiller said. “I moved out of my comfort zone.

“It’s been a learning experience and a real valuable experience for me.”

In her time as a volunteer, Kitsmiller said she has learned the importance of Women’s Haven and that any woman could be a victim of some form of abuse.

“I’ve learned to appreciate the ladies who have gone through abuse,” she said.

Kitsmiller said she was glad the Women’s Haven was available for the community.

“It’s something really important to the community,” she said.

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