At our Glenhaven Auxiliary Meeting, Tuesday, August 27, we realized how many in the community are really unaware of the Auxiliary and of what we do. Most know we are all volunteers and live in the area. As members join, they will often bring in another member or several – family or friends. Many join without knowing what we do. They soon learn that we are dedicated, efficient, focused, and very serious about what we do.
In January we meet to plan for new officers and the activities we will have during the year. We ask Glenhaven staff what items or equipment they have been wanting for resident activities and facility improvement. All the projects we plan and do are completed by volunteers. All the money earned from our efforts is totally for the residents of Glenhaven for ways to enhance their lives and well being. For those of us who have been members for years, it is exciting to watch the energy level rise as we begin planning our projects.
Over the years, thousands of dollars and hours of volunteer time have been given to the nursing home through the Auxiliary. All our projects are way too many to list but some of the most recent include purchasing the new bus that takes residents to outings and appointments (many of whom would not be able to do either without the bus.) The aviary in the living room is maintained by auxiliary funds. Bed spreads and curtains were purchased in years past. Christmas gifts, tickets to ball games, outings to the fair, fishing trips, and Rustic Lore events, picnics and barbeques – and the list goes on. The weekly and holiday entertainment and activity funding are a very important part of our projects.
Each spring, usually in April, we hold a “Spring Salad Luncheon” where the members provide salads, desserts and all sorts of main dishes – we call it a salad luncheon but it is always a full meal. Glenhaven provides the day room, sets up all the tables and chairs, makes the coffee, and cleans up afterward. We help some with set-up and with the basic clean-up but Cathy and Julie’s staff of dietary and housekeeping do the major work. Nicole, the Activity Director, and her staff, make sure the residents who want to come are there and assisted as needed. Administrator Dave pours the endless cups of coffee. Life continues throughout the facility with more visitors than usual and a lot of hustle and bustle. The luncheon is a free-will offering and advertised throughout the community and neighboring towns We have had a plant sale where members and anyone bring their plants for sale at great low prices. (Late spring cancelled that this year. Except for the plant sale we do the same in September with the Annual Fall Luncheon.
One of our new (actually revived) projects this year is a pie and ice cream social under the tent at the Rustic Lore Parade, sharing space and workers with the Historical Society – a wonderful example of cooperation in our community. We have planned a Coffee Hour and Bake Sale this November 1 & 2 in place of the craft sale of previous years with the idea that sharing a cup of tea or coffee and a cookie with residents, staff, families and community is more important. In December we have the Annual Tree Lighting honoring dear ones who have died. Usually held in early December, the Tree Lighting starts the holiday season for us.
All the residents, their families, the residents of Havenwood and their families are invited to participate in all activities. With the opening of the assisted living at Havenwood, we saw our volunteers become residents but still continue to be an important part of the Auxiliary. As we see the old faces move on and the new faces come in, we realize that our mission touches the lives of our community, family and friends in so many ways. We are very fortunate to have both Glenhaven and Havenwood in our community to meet our needs as we grow older and less able to care for ourselves.
Anyone of any age can become a volunteer member of the Glenhaven Auxiliary. We have had a few men in the past; our membership would be greatly enhanced by both men and women, regardless of age. It is a fallacy that one must be over 65 to be a member! Come join us and the thousands of volunteers throughout our country who contribute the most important resources we have – people who care and time. Give Glenhaven a call if you would like to join us! No one is ever sorry.