Strasburg Care Center seeks volunteers
“They are awesome! They are those extra hands that we depend on here at our care center,” Voller said. “They are so good with the residents, they know them well and they know what they like.”
Voller said the residents enjoy the volunteers and depend on them to help them as many have trouble hearing and seeing. She said residents need help to participate in activities as the staff likes to keep them active and sociable.
Presently, the SCC has 15 volunteers. They have donated over 850 hours in the past year. Years ago, the center could usually count on having 20 to 25 volunteers.
“We could sure use some more volunteers as ours are putting in a great deal of time right now,” Voller said.
Many of the volunteers are in the age group of 60 to 75, but they do have some who are younger.
Voller realizes people are busy with their families and jobs and events that take up so much of their time.
“We used to have some teenagers volunteering, but with the economy as it is, those teens need a paying job,” she said. “But we would certainly like to have them volunteer with us.”
Voller said there are no specific requirements for volunteers and no specific age, however, they do recommend volunteers be at least 12 years old.
Volunteers can put in as many hours as they feel they have time for and most any time of day and/or evening.
Activities with residents include reading newspapers and books, playing games and cards, putting puzzles together, crafts, taking them for wheel chair rides, helping with Senior Olympics in May and riding along on outings. Volunteers have helped outdoors in the garden, flower beds and with the landscaping. They can also offer to visit, sing or pray with the residents.
Voller encourages others to consider volunteering at the SCC. She meets with the volunteers once a month, usually the last Thursday, to review the activity calendar for the upcoming month. From there, the volunteers decide and choose what activity they would like to help with.
“We welcome others to come and observe what our volunteers do, and see how much they like it,” Voller said. “Perhaps they would then think about volunteering too,” Voller said.
“I love it, and for me, it is beginning to be like my second home,” Volunteer Rita Mastel said. “The employees here treat us like we are one of them, and I love working with the residents—you become so close to them.”
Mastel recommends that others give it a try as she said she drops her work at home and when she comes home from volunteering at the SCC, she has more energy.
Volunteer Rosemary Schaefbauer also enjoys her volunteer time with the SCC residents.
“It gets me to the care center to visit and spend time with them,” Schaefbauer said. “I encourage others to give it a try as it sure can give you a good feeling about yourself. It does for me!”
“I love being with the residents here,” Payne said. “And, it gets me out of my house.”
Carol Jean encourages people to volunteer while they are still able to do it.
“There will come a time when you can’t,” Dykema said. “I have never regretted it.”
Carol Jean and Ernie said they volunteer because they like to do something for others, and it makes them feel good knowing they helped someone.
“That’s why we do it,” the Dykemas said. ”It feels so good to know you cheered someone up or made someone happy.”
Many of the volunteers’ family members have expressed their appreciation to Voller and the SCC staff for having their mom and/or dad involved in the volunteer program. Families have said volunteering makes their parents feel appreciated and makes them feel they have a purpose in life.
Voller also said the pastors in the area volunteer their time to hold services for the residents, and they are grateful to them, too.
SCC Administrator Brian Schumacher recognizes and appreciates the volunteers who give their time to the SCC and their residents.
“Volunteers are vital to our care center,” Schumacher said. “We just do not have enough staff to do all the activities we do. The time they spend with our residents is so valuable.”
If anyone is interested in volunteering at the SCC, or if you know of someone who may be, contact Activities Director Marilyn Voller at (701) 336-2651 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.