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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.

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