White Oak Village residents volunteer at local non-profits in a big way

Published 9:10 am Tuesday, January 16, 2024

By Zia Terhune


TRYON—The volunteer spirit thrives in our community in the most amazing ways, including the efforts of a pool of hard-working volunteers that you may never have even realized existed.

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Tryon is fortunate to have a senior housing community, White Oak Village, in which the residents are some of our most valued and committed volunteers. These unsung elders quietly help keep many of our local non-profits humming with their life experiences, desire to learn new skills and love of community.  

Sandra McCall, a staff member at Lanier Library, says organizations like the library deeply appreciate White Oak residents and all that they do. 

“I don’t know what we’d do without them,” says McCall. 

Rita Motter, director at White Oak Village, states that her independent living residents volunteer at many local organizations, including Foothills Humane Society, Second Chance Thrift Store, Conserving Carolina, Tryon Fine Arts Center, doctor’s offices, Big Sisters Big Brothers and Lanier Library.  

Dick Belthoff of White Oak, for example, has been donating his time as the bookkeeper for the gift shop at St. Lukes Hospital for the past 32 years. Dick also works weekly at Outreach, and in his “spare time” calls bingo at American Legion on the second Friday of each month. 

When another White Oak resident, Peggy Wyllie, turned 90, she founded the Foothills Dementia/Alzheimer’s Caregivers Support Group. Peggy is on the board and works passionately providing support to families affected by this terrible disease. This is also the 15th year that Peggy has been volunteering at the Lanier Library.  

“Volunteering is part of my life,” she says. “Helping others helps me.”  

Countless other White Oak Village residents volunteer in the area, including one couple who spent Christmas morning volunteering at the local shelter so staff could be home with family.  Plus, many residents are currently raising money for an accessibility project, which White Oak corporate will be matching.  

These are just a few examples of the many volunteers who reside at White Oak Village. If you are lucky enough to run into one of these inspiring elders someday, thank them profusely and shake their hand or give them a hug, but not too hard.

If your non-profit would benefit from volunteers, consider senior housing residents like those at White Oak Community as an invaluable resource.