ST. CLOUD -- Saturday is National "Make A Difference Day". One woman who is making a difference every day here in St. Cloud is Barb Wilmesmeier.

Last month she volunteered 25 hours of her time through the Retired Senior Volunteer Program.

She says she retired as an elementary teacher four years ago and wanted to get more involved in volunteering. One program that she's currently involved in is a new program called the Senior Friendship Circle.

I have a group of four other women that we get together once a week by phone and we share what we're doing.  It's a way to reach out and touch base with people who might not be able to get out otherwise.

Wilmesmeier says she also reads for the blind over the radio, works at Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army, and particularly enjoys volunteering doing office type work for GREAT Theater.

She says the benefits of volunteering including meeting a lot of different people, it gets her back into the schools, and she always feels appreciated.

Barb and two other RSVP volunteers are pictured at the MAC where they have helped for several years with the Kid’s Adaptive Skating Program, a partnership between the MAC, St Cloud Area District 742 schools and RSVP.

She says another one of the benefits of getting out and volunteering is that you meet new people.

One of the very first events that I volunteered for was a United Way Day Of Giving.  At that event, I met another volunteer who became a very good friend of mine.  Even now we still call each other and check to see what we're doing volunteer wise.

Wilmesmeier says she has also learned a lot more about St. Cloud through volunteer work, and she says it is a good feeling to do something for someone else.

This summer at Whitney Senior Center. Barb and several other RSVP volunteers helped assemble Care Kits for Seniors on behalf of the United Way of Central MN.
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