Roberta Kasik of Randallstown volunteers as a crafts teacher every Thursday at the Westminster Senior Citizens' Center. She has taught crafts to disabled seniors and seniors without disabilities for more than 10 years.
"She's very gentle, she's very kind and she's very patient," said Charlene A. Fischer, coordinator of the center's resocialization program.
Ms. Fischer said the crafts classes give the seniors, some of whom are disabled, a chance to see a project through from start to finish. "It really helps their self-esteem," she said.
Some of the projects -- such as the beaded pins the group made for the Fourth of July or the necklaces made for Halloween -- can be worn.
Sometimes, she said, the seniors make extra pieces, which are displayed and sold.
Mrs. Kasik's skills and friendship mean a great deal to the seniors, Ms. Fischer said.
"You can't match her with dollars," she said.
"I kind of grew up into this" work, Mrs. Kasik said. As a little girl, she said, she used to accompany her mother, Wanda Pease, who taught crafts classes to children at a Westminster playground.
She said she has noticed that some of the seniors she teaches have become more expressive.
"I've been doing it so long now that they're like my buddies," Mrs. Kasik said.
For the seniors, she said, "It's not just a craft class . . . It's more like a social hour, almost."
She said she scours books and attends classes and seminars to find fun projects that can be completed in 1 1/2 hours. Also, she said, because many seniors are on limited incomes, "I try to keep the expense down."
Mrs. Kasik is an artisan herself. "I enjoy doing it, but it's nice to share it," she said. "It's like a double benefit."
Mrs. Kasik, 37, is a manager at Bobby's Hobby Lobby, a hobby shop in Westminster. She is married to Brian Kasik and has two cats.
In addition to teaching crafts classes at the Westminster Senior Citizens Center, Mrs. Kasik works on the Westminster Fall Fest committee. She also volunteers with environmental groups on projects such as stream monitoring and recycling.
To nominate someone as Volunteer of the Week, call 751-7900 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Nominations may be faxed to the office at 751-7916.