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.
Wesley Place resident Diane Olsen’s bouquet perfectly complimented her Valentine’s Day decorations.
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.
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.
The CMSS cruise ship.
Coordinator of Volunteer Programs Ann Brennan (center) with board member and volunteer Zoa Norman and volunteer Pat Ewert.
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.
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.
Coordinator of Volunteer Programs Ann Brennan (center) with volunteers Stef and Susan Leinwohl.
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.