Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Lucas County Health Center Volunteer Program

This article appeared in a Chariton Newspaper in May of 2005

LCHC Volunteers log more than 10,000 hours

Lucas County Health Center Volunteer Services recently honored the dedicated volunteers who work to preserve Lucas County's historic past while working at the Lucas County Genealogy department at the Chariton Library. Over the past three years, genealogy volunteers have donated more than 10,000 hours researching local records. Recognized during National Volunteer Week from left are volunteers Larry Shriver - Pioneer Cemetery; and Darlene Arnold, Gwen Sims, Connie Smith, Sharon Neel and Lois Orfield - Genealogy. These tireless community members show remarkable patience in their work to preserve Lucas County family histories. 
The Lucas County Genealogical Society was founded in April of 1976 in order to preserve, collect and make readily available the historical and genealogical records of Lucas County Iowa and to help local and distant persons to research their ancestry.

The Society maintains a library collection housed in the Family History Room (now known as the Lucas County Genealogical Society Room), lower level of the Chariton Public Library at 803 Braden Ave.
Betty Cross in the Genealogy Research Room
Volunteers work in the Genealogy room to maintain a large assortment of Lucas Co. family histories, and newspaper records, including obituaries stored in a many drawer card file. This card file contains cards filed alphabetically by Surname referring to notebooks of obituaries or referring to correspondence with family members or other resources, such as Family History books.

Karen Patterson, Darlene Arnold, Betty Cross, Melody Wilson, Mary Ruth Pierschbacher, Mabel Schluessler, Connie Smith, Dorothy Allen, and Sharon Neel are some of the volunteers that work in the Genealogy Room making sure records are kept up to date, research is done, assisting visitors, answering emails, etc.

Volunteers visit Lucas County Cemeteries to take pictures of the headstones and then Darlene Arnold places the pictures, with a brief description, on Iowa Gravestones on the Internet. 

Have you heard about "Grave Witching"? Click on this website for an interesting article about grave witching: Grave Witching.

The Iowa State Historical Society gave over 140 microfilm rolls, containing copies of the newspapers in Lucas County dating back to 1867, to the Chariton Library years ago. Volunteer, Darlene Arnold started an every name index, from the newspapers stored on these microfilm rolls, over 20 years ago. Recently the name index was placed on the Internet at Chariton Newspaper Index. Since then, researching requests, from all over the country, have doubled. Volunteers are available all year long to answer the hundreds of requests for information generated by the index on the Internet. During the first two months of 2010, there were over 500 requests.

April 18, 2012, Darlene was recognized for her years of volunteer service at a Volunteers Award ceremony where she was presented with the Presidential Volunteer Service Award by Veronica Fuhs, hospital CEO and Linda Baynes, director of Volunteer Services. This award can only be presented to a volunteer who has given over 4,000 hours of volunteer time. We know Darlene has given more time than that to help people find the histories of their families.

Lucas County is lucky to have so many volunteers working out of the Lucas County Health Center doing all kinds of volunteer work. For information on these volunteer opportunities or services, contact Linda Baynes, LCHC Volunteer Services Department at 774-3226.

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