Steve Smith may not be logging in any hours as a volunteer usher at The Smith Center these days, but he is stepping up in other significant ways to help both his beloved performing arts venue and his Southern Nevada community as the COVID-19 outbreak continues to have a wide-ranging impact.
Smith serves as one of the most active volunteers for The Smith Center, a nonprofit organization. He set a record for more than 4,000 hours since he began volunteering there in 2012 and has an ardent passion for the arts and for serving his community.
“I feel it is important to give back in any way that you can, despite the challenging circumstances we find ourselves in now,” says Smith, who has regularly volunteered since age 16.
Helping to Raise the Curtain Again
When he realized that the financial shortfall caused by cancelled performances and the lack of ticket sales was going to be potentially devasting for The Smith Center, Smith reached into his own pocket and donated $1,000 to the organization.
“I usually contribute with my time, but all that lost revenue inspired me to give back financially,” says Smith. “If we want to preserve the future of the arts in our community, we need to support The Smith Center right now.” Follow this link to learn more about supporting The Smith Center
On the Front Lines of the COVID-19 Battle
To make good use of the current time on his hands, Smith volunteers to help the greater community as a member of the Medical Reserve Corps of Southern Nevada, where he spends his weekday mornings helping the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) and its partner agencies to administer drive-thru COVID-19 testing to members of the public at various locations across the Valley, including the Orleans and Fiesta casinos.
“The test is as uncomfortable as it looks, but it’s an important tool for fighting this pandemic,” says Smith.
The retired Smith is a trained nurse and one of a cadre of medical and non-medical volunteers who are pre-identified, credentialed, trained, background-checked, and ready to be deployed by SNHD in case of a disaster. In the case of COVID-19, Smith and his volunteer colleagues are working to help the health district to limit the spread or impact of the disease.
Smith says he will continue to step forward and serve the SNHD as long as it takes to battle COVID-19. In addition to drive-thru testing, Smith says the health district is deploying health workers like him to visit and check on people who are self-quarantined at home.
“Visiting people who are alone and under self-quarantine can really be a lifeline,” says Smith.
Hopeful for the Future
Smith has no doubt that The Smith Center will always be a valuable performing arts resource for Southern Nevadans.
“Even with the typical abundance of entertainment options in the Vegas area, there is a need for Broadway shows,” Smith says.
He cites the many friends he’s made as one of the aspects of volunteering at The Smith Center he enjoys the most. He also cherishes the center’s many education and outreach programs.
“I really look forward to the day when we can all be together again,” says Smith.