MIDDLETOWN, NJ – Almost three dozen volunteers were honored at a gala celebration at Care One at King James recently, celebrating their hundreds of hours of volunteer service for residents at the Route 36 facility.
“Residents living in long term care facilities and rehabilitation centers like King James need to feel a part of the community, “said Recreation Director Catherine Kane. The volunteers who come here give of their most valuable asset, their time, and that is what means so much to our residents. There is a real need to connect with the community and our volunteers fill that need. ”
Several residents also attended the reception to show their gratitude for the time and contributions of the volunteers. Kane pointed out that the annual Volunteers Day reception is one small way both the staff and the residents can show their appreciation.
photo: President Margaret Anderson
Resident Council president Margaret Anderson spoke briefly, thanking the guests for their hours and energies at the care center. “We the residents here appreciate everything you do to make us all feel part of the community and we want to let you know that,” the former Highlands resident told the volunteers.
In addition to the hors d’ouvres and beverages during the reception, volunteers and residents were also serenaded by a professional harpist throughout the evening.
Kane presented certificates of appreciation and flowering plants to each of the volunteers and organizations present for the ceremonies as well as outlining each of the special qualities their volunteer service brought to the care center.
Kane said in addition to nine individuals who volunteer their time, no fewer than five organizations give both time and talent to the center, and representatives of each were present for the ceremonies. Volunteers perform a variety of activities on their visits, including bringing Holy Communion, reading to residents, helping create centerpieces and working with flowers, as well as simply visiting with residents.
To show their own appreciation to volunteers, staff members also made candy and gifted each of the volunteers with chocolates. Staff also made dog biscuits for the pet therapy dogs that frequent the care center.
“Our celebration of our volunteers has been an important evening at the King James for more than 20 years,” Kane said, noting it first began with former Recreation Director Janice Kerr. "Our residents like it, our volunteers like it, and it is always a reunion with friends that everyone enjoys.”