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Thursday, September 12, 2024

Celebrating Volunteers Who Give Back to Older Adults

At Chicagoland Methodist Senior Services (CMSS), we’re always looking for new ways to bring joy to our residents and celebrate our volunteers, and recently, we’ve had two notable occasions to do both at Wesley Place. Take a look:

Bringing Spring to Wesley Place Residents with Random Acts of Flowers

On February 17, in honor of Random Acts of Kindness Day, Random Acts of Flowers Chicago, a nonprofit that recycles and repurposes flowers by delivering them to healthcare facilities, brought two carts of flowers to Wesley Place as gifts for our residents. ABC 7 News covered the visit during their evening broadcast, and you can see it for yourself here.

Wesley Place resident Judith Richelieu and Chicagoland Methodist Senior Services Director of Corporate Dining and Lifestyle Enrichment John Gould with RAF flowers and Judith’s own art.

Flowers brighten residents’ days and can even have a positive impact on their health.  Research has demonstrated that flowers in a room enhance positive feelings and lower systolic blood pressure as well as ratings of pain, anxiety and fatigue.

 Diane Olsen 's Bouqet Goes Perfectly With Her Valentine 's Day Decorations Diane Olsen Grins At The Arriving Flowers

Wesley Place resident Diane Olsen’s bouquet perfectly complimented her Valentine’s Day decorations.

Emmett Bradbury II Shows Random Acts Of Flowers Chicago Executive Director Joanie Bayhack His Art 

Wesley Place resident Emmett Bradbury II shows Random Acts of Flowers Chicago Executive Director Joanie Bayhack his art.

 One resident, Lupe Krantz, was especially thrilled to receive her bouquet, thanking everyone around effusively in both English and Spanish. After hugging everyone, Lupe posed for a series of photos with her flowers, inviting the Random Acts of Flowers team and CMSS staff members to join her.

Lupe Krantz Thrilled To Receive A Bouquet From Random Acts Of Flowers Chicago Executive Director Joanie Bayhack

Random Acts of Flowers Chicago Executive Director Joanie Bayhack delivering a bouquet to Wesley Place resident Lupe Krantz.

CMSS is lucky to have a strong relationship with Random Acts of Flowers. This wasn’t the organization’s first delivery to our residents, and we’re certain it won’t be the last.

To see more photos of the visit, take a look at our Facebook page and share your comments.

Celebrating Volunteers with a Cuban Cruise

 Also on February 17, CMSS’ Coordinator of Volunteer Programs Ann Brennan invited volunteers to a cocktail mixer to celebrate their service.

The mixer fit into the Around the World Cruise, an ongoing event series through which CMSS residents and staff are invited to enjoy entertainment and cuisine from a new country each month. The event series is led by Director of Corporate Dining and Lifestyle Enrichment John Gould and Coordinator of Arts Programming Lili Mugnier. In February, the cruise is visiting Cuba. In fact, thanks to the creative work of the CMSS maintenance team, there’s even a “cruise ship” making the rounds of CMSS facilities.

 cruise ship

The CMSS cruise ship.

Ann Brennan Zoa Norman Pat Ewert

Coordinator of Volunteer Programs Ann Brennan (center) with board member and volunteer Zoa Norman and volunteer Pat Ewert.

Volunteer Group

Volunteers and staff enjoyed Cuban food, drinks, music and trivia, while mingling and getting to know those they have not yet worked with. This event was also a great opportunity for volunteers to learn more about upcoming programs that could use their help.

IMG_1792 (1)

As many of the volunteer attendees at February’s Around the World Cruise mixer can attest to, CMSS has volunteer opportunities for people with a wide variety of skillsets and interests. In one popular program, pet owners bring their furry friends to visit and play with CMSS residents. This program, which was featured in a Chicago Tribune story last summer, is a hit with both pets and people.

Our volunteer opportunities will grow even more diverse next month when CMSS becomes certified in the Music & MemorySM program. Music & MemorySM is a music therapy program for those with Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia that is gaining traction across the country and internationally. In mid-March, volunteers and staff will receive special training in the program, and CMSS will begin encouraging volunteers to assist in Music & MemorySM  work with residents.

 Ann Brennan and Stef and Susan Leinwohl

Coordinator of Volunteer Programs Ann Brennan (center) with volunteers Stef and Susan Leinwohl.

Wesley and Janelle Hollingshead 

Wesley Hollingshead is only three years old, but he’s already learning about the importance of giving back. His mom, Janelle Hollingshead, and dad, Tom (Max) Hollingshead (not pictured), perform music regularly at CMSS.

 Whatever skills you have to offer, consider giving back to your community by sharing your time with CMSS residents. If you are interested in becoming a CMSS volunteer, learn more about the opportunities we offer.


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