Randall Donner
Randall Donner, Communications Senior Professional

Volunteers Create Relationships and Memories at Mosaic

There are hundreds of volunteers across Mosaic’s 13-state network who spend time with people served providing fun activities, taking them places, organizing monthly birthday parties, teaching crafts, supporting people when they’re in other activities such as Special Olympics, advocating for individuals and services, cooking and baking for appreciation events, helping share Mosaic’s work through events and much more. They are integral to Mosaic’s mission, because a priority for the organization is helping people supported create new opportunities and relationships. 

April 21-27, 2024 is National Volunteer Week, a great time to say thank you. Mosaic’s theme this year is Volunteers Brighten the Day, and this is the thank you message the organization is sharing:

You may not realize how important
Your presence is as a Mosaic volunteer.
When you help out,
You lighten the load
And brighten the day!
We appreciate the
Positive difference you make!

Angelina Jackman, a Community Relations Manager for Living Innovations in Maine, which is a service of Mosaic, said it well when talking about one of her volunteers. “She brings the added level of support in just the right moment. She helps with the intricate details that make events memorable. She helps to raise morale in the community. She is a champion, a megaphone, a cheerleader for the impact that our supports have on the individuals.

“Having a volunteer in your corner to call upon when the to-do list seems never-ending is a true blessing.”

Below are a few other examples of the difference volunteers make to help people have connections. 

In Southeast Kansas, members of a local sorority volunteer at Mosaic regularly. “Sigma Sigma Sigma has been a volunteer for Mosaic for years,” according to Jennifer Cardin, Community Relations Manager. “They do events like craft nights, spa nights, game nights, Easter egg hunts and buy gifts for everyone we support each year.

“They take time to get to know the people we support and remember their names and the things important to them,” said Jennifer. “I’ll hear from individuals that they saw one of the girls in the community and invited them to come to Special Olympics to watch them compete. My heart is so full when I see them show up and are on the sideline cheering the individual in service while they compete.”

In Beatrice, Nebraska, a group of faithful volunteers regularly attend various activities to interact with people. According to Joyce Wenzbauer, Community Relations Manager, “Volunteers make all the difference in the world for the people we serve! They have grown to love our volunteers, much like our volunteers have grown to love them. They are now a part of our family, not out of necessity, but out of love. At our prom, the guests asked our volunteers to dance, and our volunteers joined them on the dance floor, having as wonderful a time as the people we serve. We appreciate our volunteers for the love and support that they show everyone at Mosaic, staff and residents alike.”

In Rockford, Illinois, a group of volunteers visit the same Mosaic home every month, bringing lunch, along with crafts, sing-alongs and Bible lessons. “Their presence brings a multitude of positive effects,” said Jamie Bejot, Community Relations Manager. “They also create lasting memories for everyone involved. One of the most heartwarming aspects of the volunteers’ involvement is the genuine connections they have formed with the ladies we serve over the years. They have taken the time to truly get to know each individual, recognizing her unique needs and preferences. This level of familiarity allows the volunteers to provide the right amount of attention and support to each resident.”

These volunteers, and many others like them, ring true to last year’s Proclamation for Volunteer Week from President Joe Biden: “Volunteering defines America. Our Nation is a place where light triumphs over darkness, where we seek to lift everyone up, and where we lead not by the example of our power but by the power of our example. … Volunteering brings people together, uniting us around our common belief in the dignity and equality of every person and giving us a chance to learn from others we might otherwise never meet.”

 

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