Another year has passed for Mason County’s Pleasants CEOS Club and another certificate has been awarded to member Koneda Devrick “in recognition of the importance of volunteer service to her community and for her faithful, devoted service to others” by the West Virginia University’s Community Educational Outreach Service.
Koneda has quit counting the number of awards that have come her way. (Certificates are given to members with 500 or more volunteer hours per year.)
Koneda Devrick has worn many hats in her community and her years devoted to being one of the finest Mason County teacher/principals would have been enough for many, but she found the need to volunteer.
By December of 2021 Koneda will be begin her 24th year of volunteering at the Pleasant Valley Hospital. She has served already over 27,000 hours as a hospital volunteer.
For several years Koneda as been a worker for La Casa De La Amistad, a charitable organization run out of the Baptist conference center that makes several thousand pints of salsa per year to sell and benefit women and children in need.
“Volunteering is important to me,” she said. “It gives me a way to be out and among others and to help people in whatever circumstance they need. Covid was hard on me because I missed talking to and providing assistance to others. I had to quit volunteering two different times from the hospital due to the Covid Pandemic, but I was right back at it as soon as the hospital permitted their volunteers to return.”
Volunteering has made up much of her life.
As a teen she volunteered time to the 4-H Camp and helped the leader with a crafts. She began volunteer work at 14 helping with a float/car decoration for the PPHS Science Club and helping out her dad in creating a float for the Mason County Fair Parade.
“I just simply stayed busy, setting a pattern for my life.”
“In college I worked one, two, or even three jobs to help make my way,” she said. “There was little time to volunteer; however, I volunteered with the college choir – not for college hours, though.”
For many years as a talented singer, Koneda has volunteered in the church choir, sang in a gospel quartet.
In her home church she has volunteered as a Sunday School teacher, Sunday School Superintendent, trustee in charge of scholarships, and choir director.
Devrick has led worship, served in several positions in the Women’s Missions group, helped with Bible School and helped prepare shoeboxes for the overseas Samaritan Shoebox Ministry; helped with the Wednesday night nursery that gave mothers a break so they could hear a message or lesson for themselves.
Before the Pandemic she sang in the Bend Area and Mason County’s Community Cantatas handbells.
With her church Koneda has served as a delegate to area and state association meetings. She served as moderator on the area board and as a member of the state discipleship commission and state church board. She now serves on the state conference center board and the state historical society, serving as board president.
When her sister-in-law organized a new 4-H Club, Koneda was there to assist. She has worked with the older 4-H members conference for 10 years as a camp counselor and taught crafts classes.
For many years, Koneda was on hand to help register 4-H projects at the Mason Co. Fair.
When her brother was transferred to California, “Auntie” Koneda volunteered to welcome her WVU-bound niece to move in with her. She became her other mother during her university years.
(That doesn’t count as volunteering, but it sure was interesting to have a niece sleeping in her dining room and a nephew in her basement, she said.)
After Koneda retired from the school system she become an AARP Driver Safety instructor for several years. That volunteering was a way to help individuals to drive more safely, and consequently, to help the community become a safer place in which to live.
Within six months of retiring from the school system Koneda also began volunteering at Pleasant Valley Hospital for as many as three days a week. Her work was valuable to the hospital and again she wore many hats including working at the registration desk, checking persons for fever during the Covid Pandemic and manning the Gift Shop. She served in offices for the Auxiliary of the West Virginia Hospital Association.
A friend added this to Koneda’s story: “She has been a special friend to a lady whose mother was bedfast. She has driven friends to doctor appointments. When Koneda’s mother was a resident at the rehab center, she was faithful to help with her care.”
“You give help where help is needed.”
Koneda has been a member of the Pleasant CEOS Club for many years and helped them with volunteer hours! As part of her club service she helps with the selection of scholarship winners.
Koneda urges volunteering at the hospital. There is a real need for others to share their time and talent with others! “You will be blessed!”
Alice Click is president of the Mason County Council CEOS.