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Gilbert Kindness: The Impact of Volunteering

Post Date:06/22/2017 4:08 PM
diane-searleGilbert, Ariz.- When Gilbert resident Diane Searle decided to volunteer to help adults with special needs, she didn’t realize how much they would really be helping her.

Each Thursday, about 60 special needs young adults go bowling together as part of Gilbert Parks and Recreation’s Adaptive Recreation program. Searle helps one of the wheelchair participants and also lends her time to others with special outings, attending activities and more.

 Dana Trones is one participant who has grown particularly close to Searle. “We do everything together almost,” she said. “She’s like a mom to me.”

And when Searle was diagnosed with breast cancer, she acted like a mom- worrying about the emotions of others before herself. She continued to attend the bowling program through her chemotherapy, cheering the participants on to let them know her support would never fade.

“I wouldn’t be able to pick up the ball but I would show up just to let them know it’s ok, I’m thinking of you, I’m fine,” said Searle. “Because they would worry.”

Searle won her battle and has been cancer-free for a year. She says in part, it’s thanks to the love and support of those she helps every day.

“It kept me going,” she said. “The love that they give, I could never give it back to them.”

For more on the #GilbertKindness campaign, click here.

For more on Gilbert’s Adaptive Recreation program and how you can get involved, click here.

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