By Wendi Dressen
Director of Volunteer Engagement
If you have been at a Cassia location lately, you have probably seen one or more of our amazing volunteers. They may have greeted you, assisted with an activity, spent time with a client, staffed a shop, transported a resident to the beauty shop, escorted a resident on a bus trip, led a small group or even shared their musical talents. You may have seen groups or individual volunteers; volunteers aged from 4 – 100 years of age; human and the furry kind of volunteers! Our volunteers make so much possible at Cassia and their efforts, talents, influence and time transform our communities. Volunteers engage from the heart and they make Cassia more human and home-like for the seniors we serve.
Prior to the Cassia merger, both Augustana and Elim had volunteer programs, but this past year brought organizational consistency, policies, protocols, and procedures as we began to track not only our volunteers, but their activities and their impact as well. Last year Cassia had over 2,200 official volunteers bless us with their time and talents. The difference our volunteers make for our residents and clients and staff are priceless. However, if we DID have to put a dollar value to their time, the Independent Section assigned the value of a volunteer’s time equal to $25.43 an hour. For the month of December alone, this is a cost saving of $162,498 for the 6,390 hours donated by Cassia volunteers throughout our locations! That is pretty impressive folks! And that is just for one month.
In addition to their financial impact and their quality contributions to our programs and locations, our volunteers are ambassadors in their communities. Volunteers have the potential to bring in new residents and staff and some of our volunteers have even become staff themselves. Our volunteers are impact generators.
We want to share all the amazing things that are happening at Cassia and with our volunteers. Moving forward, you will read about the groups, the individuals, the locations, their impact and the many reasons to volunteers, the benefits of volunteering and why our volunteers do what they do. Be prepared to be dazzled and amazed! At Cassia, we are dazzled and amazed every day with the generosity and dedication of those 2,200 volunteers. And we cannot wait to share their stories. Check back soon to hear about specific volunteer programs and locations and the impact they are having on the seniors and staff in our Cassia communities.