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Sunday, April 28, 2013

Ebenezer Volunteers Rock

Volunteer Recognition Luncheon 2013 has come and gone. What has not gone, is the compassion, dedication, and talent that volunteers gave in 2012 and carries over to 2013.  Ebenezer volunteers gave over 29000 hours dedicated to our seniors in many different areas including but not limited to:
  • Escorting residents to meals, beauty shop appointments, chapel, Adult Day Program, Parties
  • Shopping Outings with residents
  • Gardening opportunities
  • Cashiering at the gift shop 
  • Administrative Assistance
  • Nursing
  • Cleaning 
  • Performing for the residents singing, dancing, playing piano...
These angels on earth help Ebenezer fulfill the mission of:
   Helping older adults and others make their lives more independent, healthful, meaningful and secure. 
As the new Director of Volunteer Services at Ebenezer, my first Volunteer event happened last week after being there since only January 29th. Overall, I think it was a very successful event, but there is always room for improvement. The objective for any volunteer recognition event is to recognize the great work volunteers are achieving. They perform many of the same tasks that employees do, but volunteers are not paid financially.

The venue was at St. Mary's University Event Center, formally the Shriner's Building. My guest speaker was Paul Douglas, a man I call friend, and an amazing speaker who genuinely cares about others. He wowed the residents with his interesting stories about everything weather and then some. He talked about how Steven Speilberg came to him asking for his digital weather programs for a new and upcoming movie called Jurassic Park. Well Paul said yes and is now widely known for his weather and alert technology that is second to none. Go to the link:

The theme this year for the recognition was "Volunteers Plant Seeds of Kindness."  Each place setting included a program  colored with flowers from my photography portfolio, watering pitcher with flower seeds and potting soil as the parting gift. Each volunteer picked a number when they entered which gave them a chance at a gift from local businesses.  Each table had a bouquet of colorful Azaleas and a napkin which mimicked the color of the Ebenezer Logo.

I hired an incredible harpist who played before and during lunch. I highly recommend her since she is an up and coming performer and a high school student who made the event feel like heaven. Her name is Molly Rinkenberger and is a student at the Perpich Center for the Arts. I had gone to see her performance two months before the event and knew straight away she was perfect for the event.

I created a PowerPoint presentation as my back drop for the large stage set with palms on each side. My harpist was on the far right of the stage.  I had Lancer Catering service serving the food which was mouth watering and the service came with great care and a smile. I had a line up of speakers which included myself, CEO/President Mark Thomas, Campus Director Joel Prevost, Paul Douglas Guest Speaker and Chaplain Don Knutson who facilitated the Devotional Prayer. The meal was set up buffet style and volunteers were able to line up on both sides. I announced volunteer awards based on 1000-2000 hours of service.

Staff at Ebenezer helped from set up to take down. I feel grateful for working with an incredible team and am proud to be an Ebenezer employee. Well, now to next year executing the plan and strategy for Volunteer Recognition 2014. Thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors, vendors and staff for making this day so special to our volunteer staff.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Paul Douglas Puts Wintery Image I Captured on Star Tribune Blog

I must say, that Paul Douglas has a great sense of humor. Touring me last month at his spectacular weather studio was a treat to say the least. He is my guest speaker for my upcoming Volunteer Recognition Event on Thursday, April 25, 2013 for Ebenezer. Ebenezer Minneapolis Campus, part of Fairview Health Service is host to over 29000 volunteer hours per year. These generous givers are the glue that make us a great as we serve our senior population.

Last night, as on too many other occasions this month, we have had a heavy spring snow fall. We Minnesotans are not too happy at this time of year,dealing with the white stuff. Well, last night I just could not help myself as I watched in disgust as snow fell and layered our earth once again.

What a perfect time to tease Paul Douglas, senior meteorologist. I know how busy he is at these severe weather storm times in Minnesota. I emailed him something to the tune of  "Paul, how could you do this to us? Is it winter or spring? I sent him pictures of my stoop at my home showing him how deep the snow was and how ridiculous it looked at this time of year.

He graciously let me know that he put my snow covered stoop picture up on his Star Tribune Blog. He assured me that come Sunday, Minnesota will have something to smile about. Yes, seventy degree weather being served up for all.

I will take this prize Mr. Douglas. Thanks for being such a good sport. I don't know which of us gets more slack in their profession: You as a Senior Weatherman, or I as a psychotherapist.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Monster~Poem~dVerse Poets

Embedded deeply inside the caverns of the collective unconscious;
Furloughed thick lines of memories laid;
Dark & Light shades, spun in our minds web;
Archetypal imagery for all ages laden;
Designed before us, we have our choice;
Free will offering, it's up to you;
Light or Dark; Angel or Monster?
Keep it hidden and tight
Open and Light

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Paul Douglas Keeps Our Seniors Safe

Today, I had the privilege to meet Paul Douglas at his impressive weather studio based in the Twin Cities. Paul is a valued vendor at Ebenezer Minneapolis Campus. Easy to talk to, down to earth and knowledgeable about everything weather, he was an enchanting tour guide for me as I took in all the sights and sounds of digital weather. 

He graciously accepted the invitation as guest speaker for the Annual Volunteer Recognition Luncheon I am hosting in April. My role as Director of Volunteers gives me the honor of organizing the event that recognizes these valued volunteers. The Volunteer event is just one small way of doing this. This year the theme for the luncheon is "Volunteers Plant Seeds of Kindness."

The mission of Ebenezer is to help older adults and others, make their lives more independent, healthful, meaningful and secure. Volunteers are the cornerstone of Ebenezers' mission. We know that without these compassionate, dedicated individuals, Ebenezer could not do the quality work we pride ourselves in. Last year our volunteers brought in over 29,000 hours of volunteer service.

Paul, a senior meteorologist and founder of Media Logic Group, stated that he has been interested and passionate about weather and weather patterns, since he was fourteen years old. He and a team of meteorologists provide 24/7 weather service at his new National Weather Channel. This important venue, provides weather services for media at Broadcast Weather and high tech alerting and briefing services through Alerts Broadcaster. Paul Travels around the Midwest speaking about the weather and his innovative ways of understanding weather patterns in these current times. Paul's  weather prowess is here to serve all businesses, no matter what business it is you're involved in. For Ebenezer, his important work in weather is a natural, practical and safe choice for our senior housing.

Among his many accolades, too many to name here, he is also the public face of the important SAVE, suicide Awareness, Voices of Education, based in Bloomington. Thank you Paul for the great work your doing personally, locally, nationally, and for helping our senior community at Ebenezer.

I eagerly look forward to April 25th in our united effort to recognize our amazing resident and community volunteers.

Laura Rogers Arne, M.A.
Director of Volunteers
Ebenezer Minneapolis Campus