Having dipped her toe into other volunteer work after retirement, Dorothy found her fit at VNA. She assists with clerical projects, fundraising, and events coordination. Dorothy describes the team culture at VNA as “highly professional, comforting, and warm— people who all care deeply about their mission.” It’s contagious: Her husband Jack has also joined the VNA volunteer team delivering VNA Meals on Wheels. “Going to VNA gives us a good day out together. It’s like our date night,” she quips. “It’s fantastic.”
A favorite experience for Dorothy is the annual treelighting ceremony held to honor loved ones who have departed. Held at a local church, the event begins with trees in the sanctuary. Families place lighted ornaments on the trees. “We filled up the sanctuary the last few years,” she says. They turn out the lights and let the remembrance ornaments glow. “The whole sanctuary lights up in honor. It’s a very emotional time,” says Dorothy. “There are a lot of tears, and there’s comfort and meaning in this service, too. Staff and families come together. People like to see the caregivers who were there for them. Everyone understands that we’re not alone. The event helps families face the holidays, which can be a difficult time. It just warms you from the inside out.
Dorothy recalls a number of changes over recent years. “I’ve worked in three different buildings,” she says. She assisted with the transition from paperbased medical records to digital. At one time, she remembers, “We had boxes of records from floor to ceiling.” Folder by folder, Dorothy helped sort and consolidate pages, packing some for a special medical records storage facility. The project took the better part of a year. “Now it’s all digital, which is a good thing,” she feels. “There’s been a lot of positive streamlining at VNA. Efficiency has increased a lot.” And Dorothy is proud to be part of the organic growth and comfort that VNA delivers to the community.