By Tim Leeds
The focus of "Havre ... it's the people" this month is on seniors in the community.
Many retired citizens still spend countless hours sharing their knowledge and expertise and helping out in the community.
Warren Taylor donates several hours each week calling bingo at the Senior Center.
"I just call bingo on Tuesday and Friday afternoons," he said. "It gives me something to do."
Taylor has been doing this for almost five years now. He said Tuesday bingo has always been a main event at the center, but the Friday afternoon session is only about a month-and-a-half old.
He said a lot of people come in for the Tuesday nutrition dinner and stay for the game. He says he likes giving the people something to do other than watching TV.
Alfreda was the Hill County Senior of the Year for 1999. Her active volunteerism makes the award very understandable.
She works at the information desk at the hospital, and helps put out the Senior Connection Newsletter. Alfreda also occasionally works at the Stop & Shop gift shop.
Alfreda does some work with crocheting and making afghans for the gift shop at the Senior Center. Her main work is in quilting. She makes baby sized, twin sized and full sized quilts, which she donates to causes.
Alfreda has made about 800 quilts since the early 1980s. She donates some to the Senior Center for the gift shop and raffles, and donates some to the North Side Giveaway House.
Alfreda said she gets help with her quilts from her church circle, the Ling/Lewis group at the Van Orsdel Methodist Church. She said sometimes they cut the fabric for her quilts, and sometimes she takes them pieces with yarn through them, which the group ties for her. She then takes it home to edge it.
Alfreda also helps with fund drives at the center, and sometimes serves dinners on Saturdays and some special occasion Sunday dinners.
Leona donates time to help with dinners at the Senior Center. She helps the regular cooks in the kitchen.
"That's where I was when I worked there," she said.
Leona worked as a cook at the center for about 20 years.
She also helps some people with shopping.
"I go out and pick up groceries for those that need it," she said.
She also helps with mailings at the college. Groups of about 12 Retired Senior Volunteer Program members go to the college to help with mailing. "We put labels on booklets mailed to alumni and such," she said.
Alfreda also helps with some functions at the Eagles, such as dinners for receptions or funerals. She's been a member for about 20 years, and said that since she's retired, she's started to be more active.
Alfreda said she doesn't do much. She just fills in where help is needed.
Norm and Margie Gorder
Norm and Margie contribute several volunteer hours each week at Northern Montana Health Care. One can usually find Norm seated at the information desk on second floor, giving a warm greeting, helping patients and visitors find their way to scheduled appointments within the hospital, and offering support to those going through some difficult situations.
Norm also helps to staff the surgical waiting room for patient's families sponsored by the NMHC Auxiliary, and whenever needed, delivers mail to the patients and residents throughout the organization.
Margie routinely staffs the third floor information desk for three hours each week, acting as a hostess to all who enter the main entrance to the hospital, directing visitors wherever they may ask, and announcing corporate representatives to the appropriate department managers.
The Gorders are active participants in Havre and the surrounding communities, working to promote economic growth and while making this a caring community to live in. They are active members of the First Lutheran Church; Norm is respected for his business knowledge by the Havre Area Chamber, United Way, Bear Paw Economic Development corporation, and members of both political parties. He is active in the Lions, is a member of the MSU-Northern Foundation Board, the United Way board, and serves on the SCORE and business development committees of the chamber, as well as volunteering to help at the chamber office.
Arnold also helps businesses in the community. He works with Norm Gorder providing counseling sessions for people in business. They often counsel together, sharing their years of business experience with business people along the Hi-Line as well as in Havre.
Arnold also serves on the SCORE and business development committees of the chamber, and is active on the First Security Bank Board.
Olive Watson and Marian Buell
Olive and Marian are almost always available to lend a hand when projects arise around NMHC that can be completed by a volunteer. They routinely staff the resource room; making sure that all administrative policy books contain the updated policies, sorting and filing educational papers for inclusion into employee's files, tabulating results from the satisfaction surveys distributed to the clients the organization serves, and taking responsibility for collating, folding, stapling, labeling and sorting all the bulk mailings that leaves the facility.
Olive also works the Senior Connection foot clinics, traveling to two outlying clinics each month. Both are members of NMHC Auxiliary, actively helping with the style shows for NMCC residents, the annual pie social, and the Foundation Wine and Cheese Festival. In addition, Marian serves as the NMHC Auxiliary treasurer. In the first 10 months of 1999, both consistently averaged 45 volunteer hours per month within the hospital programs.
It would seem that all of the above would keep these two ladies busy, but they manage to find time to share their time and talents with other organizations as well. If the VFW is serving a dinner of any kind, you will no doubt find that they have been involved in making it happen. Several times a week, you'll find them at the Senior Center volunteering their time, helping with fundraisers and other special projects.
Each are actively involved with their churches, participating in Christian stewardship within the community and the world. Just thinking of all the activities they're involved in could make you tired, but they have never once arrived to volunteer without a bright sunny smile and a "can do" attitude.
Janet Allemeier and Barbara Shelton.
Janet and Barbara volunteer many hours a month to make sure the Northern Stop & Shop Gift Shop in the hospital and the Cottonwood Gift Shop at the care center are ready to serve the customers. Barbara is the volunteer buyer for both shops. She meets with the sales representatives, selecting general and seasonal merchandise, and peruses the sales catalog from merchandisers to insure a constant, wide variety of products to meet everyone's needs.
Barb receives all the orders and prices and stocks the items into the shops. Barb also works a shift as a clerk in both shops weekly. This helps her stay in tune with the clientele's preferences and makes her available for the customers to make suggestions or special requests.
Janet acts as the book keeper for both gift shops. She maintains the daily receipts record, submits employee payroll deductions to the NMHC payroll department, deposits shop receipts into the bank and pays the invoices on all shop merchandise received.
As a courtesy to the customers, Jan makes sure there are always postage stamps available for purchase in the shop. She also works a shift in the shop weekly, which makes her accessible to the other workers, and able to trouble shoot any book keeping problems other workers may be experiencing.
While these two ladies' efforts are often done "behind the scene," the services they provide are invaluable; without their many hours of volunteer work, NMHC would not have the quality of gift shop available to customers. Proceeds from both gift shops are forwarded to the NMHC Auxiliary, which they use to support various programs within NMHC.
Edna Reese, Emma Hansen,
Mary Lou Miller, Marlene Donoven
These volunteers bring their time and commitment to the Hi-Line from Kremlin and Gildford. Two Sundays a month these ladies share their time with hospital patients and the residents at Northern Montana Care Center by taking the coffee cart through the hallways, visiting and serving coffee and juice to the patients, residents and visitors. A kind word, a friendly smile, a familiar face; simple ingredients that go a long way toward turning a typical day into a special Sunday afternoon.
For many of the people they are helping, it brings their community back to them; a gift with a value that can't be communicated.
Apple is the chairwoman for the Foot Clinic Volunteers. Each month she takes a responsibility for scheduling all the volunteers for the three clinics to be held in Havre and the six outlying communities they travel to. In addition, Apple many times volunteers her time at the clinics, helping to keep all the paperwork straight and assisting the nurses with supplies and keeping basins full of warm water.
Apple has the wonderful gift of recognizing faces and names, and can almost always greet everyone who presents by their first name. This, coupled with her genuine interest and concern for clients, makes her a most valuable asset to the program,and has gained her the respect and admiration of all the nurses who work with her.
Apple also works in the Auxiliary's Stop & Shop Gift Shop, and helps with the bulk mailing of the Senior Connection newsletter. She routinely logs between 35-40 volunteer hours each month in the various areas she works.
In her "spare time" Apple works as a demo lady for new products, and is the cinnamon roll clerk on Sunday mornings at Gary & Leo's IGA. Here, too, you'll find her friendly smile welcoming you to the store.
Apple is a successful member of TOPs and loyally attends the weekly meetings to give support to and cheer her weight loss partners on.
You'll also find Apple at the Senior Center Nutrition Dinners where she helps wait tables and welcome everyone to the Center. All this and always a friendly smile and warm, genuine greeting to everyone she encounters.
Venise Rosenberry Wodarz
and Mollie Keller
Venise and Mollie serve as officers in the NMHC Auxiliary, and Venise serves as president. This is her third term in this office, and she gives many hours of "behind the scene" support to keep the group focused and organized. In addition, she represents NMHC Auxiliary serving as Montana Hospital Association Auxiliary Region II secretary and is a member of the nominating committee for the state wide MHAA. You can often find Venise volunteering as a clerk in the NOrthern Stop & Shop and she inventories and stocks the hospitality supplies in the visitor surgical waiting room.
Mollie serves as the NMHC Auxiliary Secretary. Her precise recording of minutes from meetings of the Executive Board and general Auxiliary, as well as accepting responsibility for maintaining the Auxiliary scrapbook are invaluable in providing a history of the organization.
Mollie also volunteers her time at the third floor information desk, and lends her artistic talents to any project that requires decorating or table center pieces.
Jack and Bea Campbell
The Campbells work as ombudsman at the Northern Montana Care Center. Their job is to act as advocates for residents at the center. They have been doing this for about three years.
"We make sure they're getting what they pay for," Jack said.
The Campbells go in on unannounced visits to talk to the residents. They tell them who they are and what they're there for, see if the resident has any concerns, and refer them first to the to the center.
Jack said they've had nothing but cooperation from the center.
"We try to fix things at the local level. IF we can't, it goes to the state," he said.
Bea files a monthly report to the state. Nurses from the state also come to the center on unannounced visits to ensure quality care. The Campbells' reports help them decide who to visit.
The Campbells also attend the Governor's Conference on Aging every year. They attend training sessions there, and listen to presentations at the conference.
Jack said there are very few complaints at the center these days, and what there are can usually be resolved quickly and easily.
"It's kind of rewarding to help someone who can't help themselves," he said.
They also help with mailings at the college.
Jack also plays with the Senior Band, which practices at the Senior Center. They play dances at the center on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, and have also played at the care center and the Eagles Manor, among other places.