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 activities.
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
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?
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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
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 others.
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 our team.”