Thank You, Volunteers !

by Tori Hansen, Volunteer Services Coordinator

It was my honor to host approximately 112 volunteers on Friday, April 20th for our Volunteer Recognition Dinner. Each year this comes at the tail end of National Volunteer Appreciation Week. This event also marks one year since I have taken on the role as Sunnyside’s Volunteer Services Coordinator. Not every job allows you to have the opportunity to annually reaffirm how much you love your job! This dinner and time for fellowship with our Sunnyside volunteers did just that for me. It was even more affirming when I got to recognize a handful of volunteers. If I could have passed out 112 awards that night I would have loved to, but instead I selected seven very deserving recipients. Of the seven awards, three were resident volunteers:

- Carl King received the 2017 Rookie of the Year Award. Carl volunteers just about every Friday in the Terrace for morning games. He also helps with other activities in the Terrace as needed. Carl’s sense of humor and ability to adapt to any situation made him a standout rookie volunteer. Sunnyside is blessed to have Carl on board as a resident and as a volunteer.

  • Betty Lawrence received the Outstanding Volunteer Award. Each year one is awarded to a resident and one to a community member. Betty oversees the Christmas Sale and volunteers as a Sunny Treasures Clerk. She gives manicures every other Saturday to residents in Health Care. She also volunteers in Assisted Living helping with a variety of their activities and social hours. In the roles that Betty takes on, she serves her time whole-heartedly. She will do anything she can to come in so that staff or residents are not left short-handed. Betty is a wonderful asset to Sunnyside’s volunteer program.

  • Ellen Campbell was recognized for being a volunteer at Sunnyside for 30 years! It was such a joy to congratulate her in front of everyone. I told her that was longer than I have been alive! She was a volunteer a community member long before moving to Sunnyside. She currently volunteers as Sunny Treasures Clerk.

As I said in a letter that was sent out to all volunteers last week:

“It is important that you as a volunteer know the impact you have on our community. Demonstrating this impact goes far beyond calculating a numerical value volunteers contribute to Sunnyside. The impact is when a volunteer reads to a resident who can no longer see, sings to someone who can no longer sing, feeds a resident who can no longer feed themselves, or takes someone to a hair appointment when they cannot take themselves. It is a resounding impact when volunteers plan and implement yard sales and furniture sales to support the Fellowship Fund or when volunteers run a convenience store to make easier access to certain items for our residents. For the volunteers who share their gift of music, you are providing residents pure joy of something that may be the only left that is familiar to them.

No matter your volunteer role or time commitment provided to Sunnyside, you have made a positive difference in our community. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your devotion to impact the lives of those who live here.”

Thank you so much to everyone who devotes their talents, time, and heart to better the lives of other residents!

I will be starting a volunteering blog for the Sunnyside Times soon, so stay tuned!