Meet Chalese Buttars - Volunteer Of The Year
The CPD’s Volunteer of the Year is a bubbly Utah State University student from Lewiston. Chalese Buttars is also a hard worker, say Kerry Done and Stan Clelland, two CPD staff members who enjoyed having her around to help out. Working with Chalese Buttars was wonderful and easy, said Clelland, coordinator of the CPD’s Assistive Technology Lab. “I didn’t have to give her instructions. She’s a farm girl and knows how to work.” Self-directed and consistent, Buttars showed up in the lab every week to perform safety checks on wheelchairs, scooters and power chairs. (These checks are performed on equipment before it is lent out to people in the community.) Buttars also worked on projects for children with disabilities. She especially remembers moving the “gas pedal” on a little motorized toy tractor, so a boy with leg braces could use it. She also helped in the Project PEER (Post-Secondary Education, Employment and Research) classroom, where young adults with intellectual disabilities can learn social, educational and employment skills. “She’s a very cheerful young woman, very positive,” said Kerry Done, teacher and coordinator for Project PEER. “If I gave her an assignment, I knew it would be done.” Buttars enjoyed the PEER project and the AT lab. “Those were both amazing experiences,” she said. “I learned a ton.” She learned how to fix up things that might have otherwise been thrown away. She began thinking more about how to accommodate people with limited mobility.
She also enjoyed being around the students in the PEER classroom. After a stressful day at class, playing Uno with them was a great way to unwind, she said.
All told, she spent several hours volunteering at the CPD per week. She wasn’t paid, but Done and Clelland agree she was dependable.
She is currently a senior majoring in Communicative Disorders and Deaf Education.