This is the second in a multi-part series on volunteerism. Volunteers are needed throughout our community at all times of the year. This series will feature some of the organizations and groups that are in need of those helping hands.
It is December, and hearts and minds have turned to thoughts of Christmas and the holiday season. Amid the planning of parties and dinners, the shopping for gifts, and the decorating of homes, there exists a desire in many to do something meaningful for others. Some find that being a volunteer fills a need not just in their communities, but in themselves, as well.
Volunteers play a big role in the lives of residents of area nursing home facilities. Opportunities exist for caring individuals to lend a hand and maybe even make a new friend.
Volunteers at Lakeside Lutheran Home in Emmetsburg help by bringing residents to Bible study. Pictured (from left) Irene Anderson, Opal Mattice with volunteer Marilyn Hughes, Marcella Wilson, Irene Pierce with volunteer Marguerite Brawley, Dorothy Brownlee, volunteer Marge Schmidt, and Mary Ann Rouse. Pastor Nicholas Thackery (at right) and the volunteers are from St. Paul Lutheran Church. --Lori Hall photo
At Lakeside Lutheran Home in Emmetsburg, volunteers help out by playing cards and Bingo with residents, and simply visiting with those who reside at Lakeside.
"Those who might like to volunteer should come in and visit with our administrator, Penny Moellers, and our business manager, Shari Pettit," said Amanda Wickman, Activity Director at Lakeside Lutheran Home.
Potential volunteers are given a tour and a short interview to see if they would adjust well to volunteering.
"The residents love see new faces and love the routine of playing cards, especially," Wickman added.
Wickman shared the Twait family enjoys visiting Lakeside and helping out whenever possible.
"It gives them more time to spend with their mother," said Wickman. "The staff is organized and they enjoy working with them."
Volunteer Marlys Dietrich said, "The devoted staff makes it enjoyable to volunteer," and long-time volunteers Carol and Tina Duis noted that they "enjoy working with the elderly and the staff."
For more information on becoming a volunteer at Lakeside Lutheran Home, call 712-852-4060.
Volunteers are also utilized at PARC Hall on the campus of Palo Alto County Hospital. Those interested in volunteering should contact Diana Parisi, Volunteer Coordinator, at 712-852-5480. An interview and orientation will be conducted.
At the Emmetsburg Care Center, Activity Director Sharon Manwarren oversees volunteers.
"We can always use volunteers," said Manwarren. "Many come in to play cards, sing and play music, demonstrate computer skills to the residents."
She noted that male volunteers are currently needed to head a "men's group" at the Care Center.
Those interested in volunteering in any capacity need to complete a volunteer application, which includes information on residents' needs and the volunteer's interests, as well as regulations and policies.
"The application doesn't take long to fill out," Manwarren said.
Emmetsburg Care Center has many devoted volunteers, including Nina Jurries, Donna Koenck, Wilma Olson, and Elaine Flint.
Elaine Flint began volunteering at the Care Center while she was visiting a friend who resided there.
"I went to see her every day, and I helped out by taking people back and forth from their rooms," Flint explained. "Pretty soon they asked me if I was interested in volunteering."
Flint said that she will often help out with just about anything to help the residents and nurses at the Care Center.
"Sometimes, I go to Wal-Mart with them or help take people to and from their rooms in the mornings and at noon," said Flint. "And on Mondays, I help out with Bingo."
She surmised, "I feel real good when I leave there. If I leave them with a smile their face, I've done my job."
For more information about becoming a volunteer at Emmetsburg Care Center, call 712-852-4266.