An afternoon on the links is uncommon for long-term care residents, but Heritage Manor Nursing Home residents did just that when the DeYoung Auditorium at Christian Health Care Center (CHCC) was transformed into a miniature golf course, complete with waterfall and working windmill! The Heritage Manor Activities staff spearheaded this special event, with significant assistance from five volunteers who are employees of Ashley Furniture. The team of five helped construct fairways, assemble the windmill, create boulders, and build borders. Once the course was ready for the golfers, the Ashley volunteers served as caddies for the seniors, ushering them to holes and providing assistance with hitting the ball.
“Ashley encourages employees to volunteer in the community. We can look on our own for opportunities, but we learned about the miniature golf event and a crafts project at Christian Health Care Center through work,” says Ashley employee Jessica Beeler. “We had so much fun assembling the course and then helping the residents to golf.”
Volunteers from area corporations and businesses are growing exponentially at CHCC. Microsoft volunteers teach residents of Siena Village, one of CHCC’s affordable senior-housing complexes in Wayne, how to use laptops, cell phones, and tablets. Volunteers from nTHrive, a health-care billing company, join Heritage Manor residents at a variety of activities. Family First Life/Tri-State insurance company volunteers help greet clients, serve lunch, and participate in activities at Christian Health Care Adult Day Services of Wayne.
“These volunteers help CHCC continually expand and enhance its relationship with the community,” says Caroline Silva, Volunteer and Community Outreach Coordinator at CHCC. “Volunteering as a group creates bonds and offers a sense of collaborative achievement. Corporate employees get the bonus of participating in something memorable that can’t be experienced sitting in a conference room.”
“Every Ashley team member who has volunteered at Christian Health Care Center has loved the experience and spending time with the seniors doing different activities. In fact, we have two new groups of team members who have requested to go to CHCC to volunteer,” says Nahomi Cazar, Ashley Furniture Secaucus Operations Manager. “We are thankful to Christian Health Care Center for giving us the opportunity to help our community and enjoy this new experience.”
Many corporate volunteers at CHCC, such as those from Ashley Furniture, learned about the opportunities at CHCC through Bergen Volunteer Center. Among its many services, this non-profit organization maintains a data base of volunteer activities.
“The corporate volunteer boom is a 21st century trend,” says Melissa LaRobardier, Strengthening Our Communities Coordinator for Bergen Volunteer Center. “With more millennials joining the workforce, companies have found that providing opportunities for them to volunteer in the community boost morale. All who have volunteered at Christian Health Care Center have greatly enjoyed the experience.”