St. John’s Home Volunteers Close Out National Volunteer Week

St. John’s Home volunteers gathered for a luncheon on Wednesday, April 19 in their honor and celebration of National Volunteer Week. Held at Brickstone by St. John’s, about 25 volunteers enjoyed a three-course meal and a game of trivia centered on all things St. John’s. The day was led by St. John’s Volunteer Coordinator Sandy Ferguson and St. John’s Foundation Executive Director Anne McKenna.

Brickstone by St. John’s Wintergarden was a perfect backdrop, along with live piano music, for the volunteers to share their stories. Many work in the Chapel, help out with special programs like “Now We Drum” and “Art in the Studio,” or transport residents to appointments and events around the building.

Monica Amador says she “does a bit of everything at St. John’s” and has been volunteering at St. John’s Home since 2011.

Monica Amadorwanted to “pay it forward for all of the love and care” she had received at St. John’s while recovering from an accident in 2010.

“Paying it forward. It is what keeps me coming back to St. John’s. For the residents and the employees,” Monica noted. “I love it. There is a lot of flexibility.”

“Whatever is involved with St. John’s, I am there,” Monica said proudly.

Jessica Plarr, a more recent addition to the volunteer team, started volunteering a year ago. She said, “I enjoy helping the residents here, stay active.” Jessica transports residents to their programs, the beauty salon, and any other appointments.

Jessica Plarr

“Also,” Jessica added, “I love coming into Highland Park, especially this time of year with the Lilac Festival, everything is popping and blooming.”

Anne, Brodie a volunteer at the Chapel started volunteering a few years ago out of pure coincidence. In the bulletin at my church, I saw an advertisement asking people to consider coming [St. John’s] to volunteer,” Anne said. “And, I just decided to give it a try.”

What started as a casual endeavor for Anne, has turned into a meaningful practice.

Anne Brodie

“I help with the transportation of residents down to the Chapel on Tuesday morning,” Anne said.

“I find that residents are really appreciative of that opportunity to come down to [the services].”

On a personal note, Anne discovered a deeper connection to volunteering. “Some of the residents remind me of my own parents,” she explained.

“I just think if they had to be (in a nursing home) somewhere where I do not live, I would like it if someone was there to take care of them in that way, so I feel like I am helping out other families by being there for their loved one.”

You can sign up to volunteer at St. John’s online at Volunteer Opportunities at St. John’s .

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