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Yuman earns presidential award
Wanda Broom loves to volunteer and has given so much that she's been honored with the President’s Volunteer Service Award from President Barack Obama.
Broom, who mostly volunteers through her church, racked up more than 250 volunteer hours in 2009. She continues to give of herself whenever she is not working at her full-time job or caring for the last of three kids still at home.
"I just go and do it. Sometimes you run out of time, and it's been five hours and you don't even notice. It was a lot of hours over the last year."
Broom, a government employee, began volunteering her time five years ago and is humble about receiving the award. "I want to encourage everybody to volunteer because the need is out there and every little bit counts."
America enjoys a long tradition of volunteer service, according to a press statement on PresidentialServiceAwards.gov.
"Now more than ever, volunteers are renewing their commitment to helping others and making new connections that bring us closer together as families, as neighbors, as communities and as a Nation," the statement reported.
Broom is active in the community and often volunteers on the weekends to help the impoverished.
"I am involved in Adopt a Block, where we go to different areas in the city and spend time with (the poor) and play with the children. We help them with repairs to their homes and bring clothing, food and toiletries. We bring hot dogs and prepare tables for them to come and sit."
Broom is also involved in preparing parties for the needy.
"In the summer we reserve one of the community pools for three hours for a Summer Splash. We pick them up and bus them over and have a really good time with them."
Broom was born in Puerto Rico and says she understands what it is like to be poor.
"We struggled and my mom worked in factories all her life. Just to see the smiles of those we help makes me remember when somebody gave me stuff. Even if it was a hand-me-down, it was great to have. I know what it is like and I enjoy spending time with them and giving them what we have."
Broom is a veteran of the military.
"I have been all over because I was in the Army. I spent 10 years in the military, which is how I ended up in Yuma. I've been here for 17 years and my husband and I made this our home."
Broom said she enjoys helping others and hopes they pay it forward and help others in need in the future.
"It is just great to be able to help somebody else develop themselves. I want to help that person help somebody else."