Volunteers add an important dimension to the quality of life at Homestead Village. We have more than 200 volunteers committed to enhancing the community – both on and off the HV campus!
Homestead Village volunteerism abounds, with residents drawn to activities that play to their skills and interests, as well as opportunities to learn, grow, and contribute to others.
Since she arrived in Homestead Village four years ago, Nancy Enders has contributed to and been a catalyst for myriad volunteer initiatives. Nancy lends her musical talent, performing regularly at Gelhard House, along with Stanley Mandell, and outside the Plow & Pineapple on Friday evenings. Nancy smiled: “It’s been such fun to collaborate with Stan and to see the residents respond, the music eliciting memories, and even getting them to sing along.”
As an avid baker, Nancy also launched Operation Cookie Bag in 2019 to express gratitude to employees, and it has become a holiday tradition with over 49 willing helpers baking, boxing, and delivering cookies.
Linda Kay Pressley described her experience: “When Jim and I arrived, I asked, ‘Do you have a garden group? Well, let’s start one!’” That led to Soil for the Soul, gathering residents who enjoy gardening, aspire to be a gardener, or just want to learn more about gardening and nature. From apple tasting to growing garlic, floral arranging, and plant propagation, the programming shares knowledge and provides a fun social opportunity. Linda Kay (a master gardener) adds, “Tending living things gives us a sense of happiness and accomplishment. Sticking your hands in dirt has even been proven to be associated with pain reduction!”
With a degree in Library Science, Marie Winger’s volunteerism naturally led to the Homestead Village Library, and she’s currently serving as Committee Chair. “It’s really fun being in a library again. I have such a fabulous group of volunteers working with me— I just coordinate.”
When she arrived, finding that the bookshelves were in disrepair, Marie wrote a proposal to replace the shelves. An anonymous donor funded the project, which was assigned to the Wood Shop. It was a big project with a great result, Marie said, “A lot of people have commented on the new shelves; they’re nice, light yet sturdy, they should last a long time, and they smell good, too!”
The Wood Shop was a big reason why Marie and her husband, Tim, moved to Homestead Village. Tim explained, “Having a Wood Shop was a requirement for me; I like to make things.” Marie and Tim’s volunteerism converged when Patti Olson approached the Wood Shop about Operation Christmas Child and their committee’s desire to make something for older kids to place inside the care boxes that are shipped to children in need in communities around the world.
Tim explains, “I designed an old-fashioned carpenter’s toolbox from the scrap wood that came from the shelves in the library. So it could fit in the care box, I made it knocked down, and the recipient’s first project is putting it together with tools and handles we provisioned on Amazon. We’re wrapping up the last step, writing the instructions. Several of us in the Wood Shop sponsored six boxes, which we’ll deliver in the next few weeks.”
The Homestead Village Auxiliary is a vibrant organization with 450 members. Nancy participates in and contributes to the HV Auxiliary and is currently serving as Co-President. She said, “The Auxiliary is a way to get involved in the community:
The HV Auxiliary is organized to enhance the quality of life of the residents of Homestead Village. In pursuit of this purpose, the Auxiliary: Provides residents in all levels of care with opportunities for socialization and entertainment. Promotes positive community relations. Provides funding for the Endowment Fund and special needs. Provides services to the Homestead Village community.
Mary Alice Hoshall and Marg Zeiders have been active members of the Auxiliary for many years, both having served on the board, chaired and/or co-chaired various committees, contributed to bake sales, social events, and fundraisers, and volunteered for seasonal festivities for the residents living in ACC and Westvue. When asked what inspired her volunteerism, Mary Alice replied, “I come from a big family, and we were always helping and doing for each other. If someone needed something, we did it. And that was part of my church upbringing, too.”
Marg described a previous Halloween party at ACC: “It was a lot of fun coming up with games to play with residents, getting them engaged, seeing them smiling and participating.” On Valentine’s Day, Marg added, “We delivered arrangements to each ACC resident. It means so much to see residents’ faces light up, knowing that someone has remembered them and that we’ve brightened their day.”
Karen Braun, Life Enrichment Program Manager of the Apostles Center for Care & Westvue expressed gratitude: “Volunteering to help others within our Homestead community is a gift that gives in so many ways. The time spent volunteering brings meaning and purpose to the residents’ lives, and the residents see the volunteers as extra special friends.”
Marg and her husband, Skip, have worked as a couple on the Welcome Committee, and they described how committee members representing each neighborhood welcome new residents, from an initial visit to getting to know them, writing up their biographies to share with the rest of the community, and then hosting a welcome reception, open to all residents, greeting those who have moved in over the past six months.
There are many volunteers whose contributions may not be as visible, yet they’re essential. Robert Maust has become a go-to for audio-visual support. “I get to attend all sorts of things, including the Great Courses lectures, which has broadened my horizons and left me saying, ‘Oh, that’s fascinating!’ When I was in high school, I was a jock and looked down on AV guys as nerds; well, now I’m a nerd!”
Marti Pawlikowski shared another example, “A few weeks ago, I was walking in to visit with my mother in Gelhard, and as I was passing the parked Homestead Village bus, I was touched to see three fellow residents waiting with those in wheelchairs before they were helped onto the bus. It warms my heart that, as we age, we continue to give.”
Maureen Deibert, Life Enrichment & Volunteer Coordinator, notes: “Resident volunteerism furthers the Homestead Village mission statement and helps HV continue to maintain its non-profit status.” Her guidance: “First narrow down with what part of the campus you’d like to serve – skilled nursing, memory care, supportive service, residential living. Review the “Volunteer Opportunities” button on Touchtown, and then contact Juli Lehman to see what current volunteer opportunities are available!”