St. Clara’s Manor recognizes
volunteers with heart at annual appreciation luncheon
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[April 26, 2017]
- On Tuesday, Judy Smith was named the Volunteer of the Year at the
annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon at St. Clara’s Manor. Smith
was presented a plaque and other gifts by St. Clara’s Activity
Director Rebecca Johnson.
The day began just before noon with a luncheon in honor of all the
St. Clara’s volunteers. Approximately 15 were in attendance, which
constitutes about half of the total number of individuals who visit
St. Clara’s on a regular basis to volunteer for a variety of
The volunteers at St. Clara’s do a lot to help make sure that all
the residents at St. Clara’s feel loved and cared for. Tasks they
perform may include anything from leading church and prayer
services, playing cards or reading to residents, helping with
resident parties and activities, doing hair and nails, providing
special music, spending one-on-one time with residents and much
At the luncheon, after enjoying a meal provided by the staff at St.
Clara’s, guests were invited to play a game. Johnson led the way,
asking each one to write down a numerical answer to the questions
she posed. Questions included scoring points for the number of rings
being worn, the number of buttons, number of children, and number of
years on this earth, just to name a few. In the end two volunteers
tied for first place with a total that exceeded 150 points.
Following the game, there was a short talk given by Johnson. She
began saying that the theme for the luncheon this year is “A heart
for people.” She said that all the volunteers do what they do
because they have a heart for people. She noted the words of a song;
“I have the joy, joy, joy, joy, down in my heart….down in my heart
to stay.” Johnson said the song would go on to say “I have the love
of Jesus down in my heart.” She said that it is the love of Jesus
that gives us the joy we have ‘down in our heart.” And, it is that
feeling of love that leads us to share love with others. Johnson
noted she always turns to the Bible to lead her and in the Bible,
the word love is mentioned 700 times, showing how important it is to
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Johnson noted that King Richard the Third was referred to as
Richard the Lion Hearted because he was brave. The king had a brave heart, but
what other kinds of hearts are there?
Sometimes we are heavy hearted, weighed down with stress and worry. Sometimes we
are broken hearted with a great deal of sorrow in our hearts. There are those
who are hard hearted who don’t appear to care for others.
Then there are those who are tender hearted, true hearted, and kind hearted.
Those are the people who show compassion for others, who show love for others
and are dedicated to others.
She concluded that all the volunteers have a heart for people, a heart that
shows love and kindness.
Johnson then talked about the volunteer of the year, asking those who have
already received that honor to raise their hands, then she joking said, there
would be no repeats. This year the volunteer of the year would be Judy Smith.
As the day wound down, Tonita Reifsteck, who is a regular volunteer and also a
member of the board of directors noted that this is possibly the last year the
appreciation luncheon will be held at the Manor of Fifth Street. Construction of
the new St. Clara’s Manor is well underway, and is expected to be open sometime
in the spring of 2018.
Lyle Read also spoke up saying that as a volunteer, he appreciates all the work
and dedication of Johnson and the staff who assist her in providing activities
for the residents. Johnson in turn said that she could not do what she does
without the help and dedication of her assistant Linda Bree, Marie Parr, and
Guests were invited to stay and visit as they wished, and as the event came to a
close, each one present was given a small gift of appreciation; a heart shaped
ornament with a lapel pin tucked inside that said “Volunteers are the heart of