Cindy Shelton, Senior Corps RSVP volunteer, was motivated to start volunteering when the couple retired and moved to Manhattan from Salina to be closer to their children. She had known about RSVP in Salina and looked up the Manhattan office. She was happy to get involved and connect to the community. Through the volunteer work, Cindy and Dennis, another Senior Corps RSVP volunteer, were soon able to meet friends and become a part of the community.

Initially, Cindy started volunteering with Schools of Hope in 2011 and worked with the program for 4 school years. She enjoyed watching the student’s progression throughout the year in both their excitement to participate and their reading skills.

In 2014, Cindy decided to start delivering meals with the Senior Center. She knew that she’d need help carrying all the trays and getting around town, so she asked her husband Dennis to help and he said, “sure!” Dennis calls himself the “comical assistant” to Cindy as he is responsible for the heavy lifting and driving. Cindy has the pleasure of delivering the meals to the different residents and taking the time to visit with those who are interested in chatting. When asked what they enjoy about volunteering together Dennis happily remarked, “We’re here and it gives us something to do together- we look forward to it. We like to get lunch and make a day of it.”

While they have met several characters during their 5 years delivering, Cindy and Dennis both fondly recall the artist. One man they deliver to was always quick at the door to take the food and return inside, but one day Cindy could smell paint fumes at the door and made a comment. This casual comment literally opened the door as Cindy was invited in to see the man’s art work. He enjoyed showing off his work while she learned a little more about his history as an artist for Kansas State University. “We have met a lot of very special people and enjoy the time visiting with them,” said Cindy.