Volunteer Week 2023

Volunteer Week began Thursday in typical fashion – hot and humid. This year we had the added “bonus” of wildfire smoke contributing to poor air quality as well; the summer […]

Volunteer Week began Thursday in typical fashion – hot and humid. This year we had the added “bonus” of wildfire smoke contributing to poor air quality as well; the summer trifecta of ick. The forecast prompted several volunteers to delay their arrival until Friday, but we still had 14 hearty souls who came to help Thursday.

Sis, Mary and Joan were here to help Kim clean green beans, chop rhubarb, make salads and do dishes. Danny helped Housekeeping with folding towels and vacuuming. Kathy was here to help in the office. She also records all the volunteer hours throughout the year, so it was good for her to be here to make sure everyone got the message about reporting their hours.

Terry P. was here bright and early Thursday morning to trim hedges by the cemetery and start on those in front of the building. Denise came and pulled weeds in along the front of the building and along side the Solanus Center. Later, Terry and Denise helped JustBob spread gravel. Jackie F. was here early, too, and started cleaning windows. Donna’s task was to disassemble the fans and give them a good cleaning. Nancy was dusting and vacuuming throughout the basement. After Joe helped Kim with the lunch dishes, he and Patti started cleaning those big mirrors in all the public bathrooms. Then Patti went to work cleaning the floorboards in the hallways. JustBob put Sharon and Mary Beth to work pulling weeds and spreading gravel around the Stations of the Cross in the woods.

A soaking rain Thursday night helped lower the temperature just a bit and made the weeds much easier to pull on Friday. Friday morning was window washing time for Jackie F., Jennifer, Denise, and Jessica. Patti washed the woodwork in the dining room and Joe moved the tables for her. Nancy started shampooing the carpet in the new wing upstairs hallway, and Sue joined her to help. Meanwhile, Gerri mowed the lawn in the veggie garden, Sharon and Mary Beth were spreading mulch and Tammy and Randy finished spreading gravel by the stations. Becky worked all day taming the jungle in the small courtyard east of the chapel.

By noon, the Beautification Team had arrived, so after lunch, Theresa, Kathy W., Kathy S., Carol, Tammy and Randy headed out to the gazebo to tackle those gardens. Bruce got to work power washing the windows. Joe and Patti headed down to the St. Francis chapel to give it a deep cleaning, then did the first floor bedroom windows.

Another storm Friday night brought the temperature and humidity down, so Saturday was a gorgeous work day – for late July, anyway. Cutting, splitting and stacking firewood was the top priority for JustBob’s crew. Jackie K., Dean, Chris and Terry R. got started on the logs that had been parked in the front lot since last fall. Terry P., Pam, Lori, Tammy and Randy went to work on the logs stacked by the fire pit wood shed. Kathy W. worked on weeding Mary’s Courtyard, and Kathy S. took on the weeds by the handicap ramp. Sharon and Mary Beth finished off the hedge trimming out front. Bruce came back and washed the windows on the new wing and in Mary’s Courtyard. Scott was raking the trails with the four-wheeler.

Inside, Joe did the dishes for all three meals and moved the tables on the other side of the dining room so Patti could finish washing the woodwork. Joe also cleaned all the windows in the Solanus Center. Theresa and Joan cleaned some pea pods for the salad bar, then Joan got busy cleaning the kitchen cabinets. Steven brought a friend, Michael, and they worked at thinning out the triangle garden. Jessica came back and brought her friend, Robert. They continued cleaning bedrooms on the second floor. Nancy and Sue moved the carpet shampooing operation to the old wing halls.

Sunday was another gorgeous work day, though the group was starting to thin out. Thankfully, so was the to-do list. Kathy W., Kathy S. and Theresa were still finding weeds to pull and flowers to deadhead. Jeanette came out Sunday and gave them a hand working in the garden in front of the cloister wall. Patti was still finding windows to wash, this time taking on the windows between the front halls. When she finished the windows, Jain put her to work cleaning more fans. Joe cleaned mirrors in all the bedrooms. Joan washed all the chairs in the gazebo and then mopped the dining room and kitchen floors after lunch. Dean and Jackie K. were still cutting, splitting and hauling wood from the front lot. Amy helped with weeding and also gave all the outside statues a bath.

Monday dawned cool and sunny, but the forecast was for warm and hazy. Still, nothing daunts our volunteers. Sue deadheaded flowers. Joan vacuumed the pillows in the pillow room. Nancy and Shirley shampooed the carpets in the front hall and in front of the chapel. When Shirley left, Jessica teamed up with Nancy. Kathy S. had the unenviable task of uprooting weeds from driveway cracks. Amy and Jill weeded gardens after lunch, then came inside to continue dusting and cleaning.

Monday was also back-to-business day. Several of the who worked outside all weekend were in the Grounds Committee meeting Monday morning while Ron and Steven were in a Programming meeting with Adele. Terry P. was here to make a bank deposit and work on the books for the end of the month. Amy, Jill and Jessica folded and stuffed a mailing for us. Marge and Adele worked on reorganizing the Bookstore. Mike came in to work in the library.

By Tuesday, we were down to a crew of seven, but they still found work to do. Donna came in to work on painting the old garage. Nancy and Shirley packed up the carpet shampooing operation and put the furniture back into the front hall. Then they mopped all the hall floors. Amy and Joan swapped new newsletters for old in all the bedrooms while Jill cleaned mirrors. Then Joan deadheaded flowers on the deck around the Fireplace Lounge while Jessica, Amy and Jill helped Jain clean the rooms used by volunteers this past week so they would be ready for the next guests.

A grand total of 46 smiling faces offered more than 560 hours of volunteer service over the six days of Volunteer Week. How could we possibly do what we do without their generous gift of precious time?

For all the generous and hearty souls who came to lend a hand for Volunteer Week 2023, for all their hard work and joyful spirits, we say Deo Gratias!

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