Reports of volunteer work in Salt Lake and Davis counties for neighbors, widows, the handicapped and others in need of assistance help recognize those who volunteer. While this voluntarism is important and an important plus to the community, there are also many other types of service being done that goes unnoticed most of the time by the public.
Elbert Dean Smith, his wife, Vonnie, and his veterinary staff have spent 12 years donating considerable time and medical supplies toward the rehabilitation of injured, orphaned and sick, native, wild birds.With no state or federal funds available for such humane treatment of birds, Smith and staff have helped all species of wild birds over the last decade, including robins, ducks, bald eagles and peregrine falcons.
"It's kind of fun to fix them (the birds) up and then be able to turn them loose," Smith said.
Vonnie Smith is also a veterinary doctor and partner in her husband's practice. JoAnn W. Stoddard, Salt Lake City, is another key person who puts in a great deal of time toward the treatment and care of injured birds.
Smith says he started treating birds because not many veterinarians treat them and he felt that somebody had to start. He started out with caged birds and expanded to treating many wild birds, even some from southern Utah and Nevada.
Birds are generally brough to Smith and his staff from the Utah Division of Wildlife. His staff members have a reputation for making themselves readily available, no matter what the injury of kind of treatment needed.
Smith said he has been able to use new surgery techniques on some of the birds.
Here are some other recent nominations from readers concerning Wasatch Front residents who make a difference in their communities by doing volunteer work or other such service:
- Glen Spencer:
This Salt Lake man rakes leaves, shovels snow and is always willing and available to help any of his neighbors.
- James Sandus:
Sandus helps his neighbors clean snow off their walks and driveways and take out the garbage.
- Kim Clark:
This optometrist offers free eye exams to the homeless and to those in need. Clark has also been known to change tires, batteries, etc., for people unable to do those tasks themselves.
- Cash Delahunty:
He recently did volunteer work by speaking to inmates at the Utah State Prison. He is also very kind to the elderly in his Salt Lake neighborhood.
- Shauna Ivie:
She's a volunteer in the newborn intensive care unit at the University of Utah. There she counsels new parents with the parent-to-parent organization. She is especially good at assisting parents of terminally ill babies.
- Heinz Reinhold:
He shares his mechanical talents for free with the elderly and widows.
- Walter K. Root:
This member of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir also shares his talents by visiting Salt Lake area nursing homes to entertain them with his voice.
- Vi Anderson:
This grandmother from South Jordan donates approximately 40 hours a week at South Jordan Elementary School to operate the school's discovery program.
- Betty Bird:
This Salt Lake City woman is always there when neighbors need her. She aids many people she doesn't even know.
- Miriam Tucker:
This consistent volunteer from Sandy spends hour after hour doing two services: 1) She takes care of teacher and student birthdays for East Sandy Elementary School. She handles the school's bulletin boards, treats and announcements. 2) She works for months for girls summer camp. Both these activities are very time-consuming, but she is dedicated.
- Ardelle Elliott:
This Bountiful woman conquered cancer. She now visits three Bountiful nursing homes weekly, playing a piano and leading patents in a sing-along. She also provides transportation for two heart patients to visit their doctors regularly. Elliott even telephones one of the heart patients every morning and night since the patient lives alone.
- Amy Anderson:
This junior at Rowland Hall donates time every Thursday at the homeless shelter to tutor elementary-age children.
- Bill Case:
This Magna man is busy helping others every day. He looks out for neighborhood widows, young mothers and blind friends.
- Tom Shirley:
This Salt Lake County volunteer uses his trained search dog to find missing people in the wilderness.