Mary Thornton, a volunteer with the Scripps Mesa Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol (RSVP), is the April 2020 Volunteer of the month. She was nominated by Jim Schulte, the site administrator. Scripps Mesa RSVP is part of the San Diego Police Department. Senior volunteers assist area police stations by engaging in crime prevention activities and supplying additional resources to the departments. They also perform vacation house checks and You Are Not Alone (YANA) checks on homebound, isolated seniors.
Unfortunately, because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the volunteer program is currently on hold (staff are taking on critical volunteer functions, such as checking in on seniors through the YANA program). Mary is eager to return to her volunteer duties when it is safe to do so. During “normal” times, Mary wears several different hats within the RSVP program. She patrols the Scripps Ranch and Mira Mesa communities approximately once a week, conducting crime prevention activities and ensuring the safety and welfare of the communities’ residents. She also acts as the patrol manager once a week, and coordinates two daily patrols in Scripps Ranch and Mira Mesa. In addition, Mary patrols Balboa Park once a month and serves as police department ambassador to all who visit the park.
Over the years, Mary has graciously accepted more responsibility and was promoted up through the ranks to become the assistant administrator of the Scripps Mesa RSVP office. In this role, Mary provides expert support to the administrator, as well as to the entire team. She maintains records and coordinates the patrol schedule. She also organizes several events throughout the year. Mary has become a key contributor to the success of the unit.
In addition to volunteering with RSVP, Mary volunteers at The San Diego Food Bank, helping to distribute food to low-income seniors. She also volunteers at the Scripps Ranch Community Association, assisting with their newsletter.
Mary is known for her dedication to volunteerism and for her cheerful demeanor. She represents the Retired Senior Volunteer Patrol in a professional and caring way, and is a positive reflection of the RSVP program, and in turn, the San Diego Police Department. Mary says her favorite part of volunteering is the feeling that she is making a difference in the lives of other individuals in the community. While volunteering in the traditional sense is not an option during COVID-19, Mary continues to look out for others, such as by checking in with older neighbors to ensure that they have everything they need. San Diego is lucky to have residents like Mary Thornton. Thank you so very much, Mary, for all that you do!