Today, I want to recognize a group of people without whom most nonprofits couldn’t do our work: volunteers. Volunteers give of their time and talents for no compensation other than the warm feelings they get from helping further a cause they care about, and they make a huge difference. They’re on my mind because of an event we have coming up, so it seems like a great moment to tell you about some of the wonderful volunteers we’ve been working with.
This weekend, the Immanuel Foundation will host our first-ever estate sale. We’ve been busy for months, collecting hundreds of items—from furniture to dishes to jewelry—from residents of Immanuel Lutheran Communities and our valley. Over the past few days, we’ve been moving the items from storage, pricing them, and beginning setup for the sale. To do this, we’ve needed help. This event would not be possible without a large group of dedicated volunteers who care about the success of the sale because they care about the community we serve.
Some of these volunteers live right here at Immanuel. Over the past couple of days, I’ve gotten to spend more time with the lovely Shelby Thompson and Mark Norley. Along with a few others, Shelby and Mark have been almost as committed to the success of this sale as we staff are. They’ve cleaned furniture, polished silver, priced items, and provided insight into the mechanics of running a second-hand sale. Shelby even came up with the idea of calling it an Estate Sale. Both have also donated generously of their lifetimes’ worth of experience—and objects. Their involvement began last fall as donors and has continued tirelessly (Shelby’s husband, Fred, will also be joining us a volunteer starting today).
Other resident volunteers include Mary Duryee, Glenna Small, B.J. Carlson, Barbara Gould, Susanne Beck, and too many more to list here by name. Running an estate sale is tiring, sometimes grubby work, but our volunteers help keep it fun as they help us get the work done.
It’s not only residents who have given so generously of their time. Our board members—in particular Gini Ogle, Margie Simpson, Debbie Snyder, and Jim Heim have also taken a great deal of time out of their busy schedules to make this event a success. Jim spent much of Wednesday hauling items from our storage units to the Gateway Community Center and even the town dump, and we very much appreciate his willingness, his stamina, and his pickup truck. Gini, Margie, and Debbie have been champion pricers. In fact, Gini, along with Mark, helped priced dozens of artworks weeks ago, making the past few days move much more quickly.
Immanuel staff, too, have made room in their very full workdays to help out, and even more of them are giving up part or all of their Saturday to work the checkout station, greet guests, and keep an eye on the sale areas. If you come buy a piece of furniture, you might find that our CEO, Jason Cronk, helps you carry it out to your car. Rae Workman, the Buffalo Hill Terrace concierge, will be helping as well, as will Hannah Brown, Carla Wilton, Taryn Waldenberg, Kathy Buffington, and a host of other employees from the C-suite to the front lines. We know how hard they work during their regular days, and we very much appreciate their willingness to give part of their time to fundraising for our Lodge Day Service program.
And our families and friends are also helping when they can. Every volunteer makes a big difference in the lives of the community we serve. And that goes for most organizations. If you volunteer for any organization, thank you. And thank you, thank you, thank you to our volunteers! When we say we couldn’t have done it without you, we mean it! Your love for our community shows every day!