By Ashlee Oakley

If you’re looking to get involved in the community, volunteering is a great way to help your neighbors. With several local organizations to choose from, you’re sure to find one that’s the right fit.

The Concord Historical Society holds several different buildings, all run by volunteers. First, there is the Lucy Bensley Center (LBC), which is a genealogy research library filled with local history and research materials to pour over.

“Then there is the Pop Warner Museum that is also run by volunteers, who not only help set up the different exhibits, but also work as speakers and guides when visitors come to view the museum, ” says spokeswoman Jolene Hawkins, LBC research assistant. She continues, “The Mercantile, which is set up as a old store, has good old country music on Tuesdays and Thursdays 7-9 p.m., where all are welcome to come and sit and listen. The store is also open to browse through, as well as checking out the little gift shop we have there with homemade items, books and more.”

Hawkins also states, “The all-volunteer membership of the society works hard to make our area’s history come alive and not be forgotten. The Concord Mercantile, a re-creation of an old-time general store, has been well-received but space is limited; the Concord Historical Society has built a new addition, The Heritage Building, that, when completed, will let folks stroll down Main Street Springville circa 1920-1960, past the Leland House, The Joylan Theater, Kuhn’s Drug Store, the medical office of painless dentistry pioneer Dr. Waite, The Schuster Motor Car Company of The Great Race fame, and even an old jailhouse.”

They also run the Civil War museum, Echoes Through Time, on a volunteer basis. If your interest is keeping local history alive, please contact the Concord Historical Society at the Lucy Bensley Center via their website,, email, or call (716) 592-0094.

Springville Center for the Arts (SCA) is a multi-arts center that actively engages people from our community, our region and beyond, through performances, exhibitions, education and other arts programs. As a catalyst for creative inspiration and development, SCA encourages direct participation in the arts by all segments of our community, including children, youth, adults and seniors. Volunteer coordinator Tracy Maybray says, “I personally feel the SCA is a huge asset to our community. I’m proud to be a part of it.”

Whether you’re interested in getting dirty with construction or stage makeup, ushering or being on one of the many committees, they have a job for you! For more information on how you can help, contact Maybray at, or call Seth Wochensky at (716) 592-9038.

Springville Concord Elder Network (SCENe) is a program of Healthy Community Alliance Inc. They are a nonprofit volunteer-based regional organization that serves area seniors and their families.

SCENe’s website states that the organization grew out of a grassroots effort by elderly community members of Springville, playing an important role in helping people age in place in their community. They currently have needs in areas such as “sunshine” volunteers for special occasions, respite buddies (who receive training through the Alzheimer’s Association and work on the first Wednesday of each month, spending time with memory-impaired patients and giving their typical caregiver a break), a hospitality receptionist, new garden club members, and more. For more information, contact Jennifer Mantione at, or call (716) 592-7599.

Love INC of Springville is an affiliate of Love INC National. Volunteers at the Love INC ministry clearinghouse screen clients, helping them with financial, emotional, and sometimes spiritual needs. Love INC then uses the extensive network of churches and social services to “help end the cycle of poverty,” from their website, which also states that one of the biggest needs at the moment is for volunteers to drive persons to and from medical appointments, agency appointments, etc. Rides are provided through the use of the Love INC car. At this time, drivers are all church volunteers from the network of the many active churches in the area. They also provide services such as a local food pantry, help organize Warm the Children during the winter months, gather school supplies for families in need, help with HEAP and other government applications, and assist in finding affordable or free medical care for at-risk clients. For more information, contact Wendy Cocca or any of the other volunteer staff at Love INC at, view their Facebook page, Love INC of Springville NY, or call (716) 592-3761.

All ages and abilities are welcome in the volunteer community. Even if you don’t know quite what you’d like to do, someone who would like to help is usually enough for organizations to bring a new member on.

If you are part of an organization that’s looking for volunteers, feel free to send an email to

Get out, get involved and make a difference— you won’t regret it!