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RebeccaM

Volunteers

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One of the key factors that my administrator is always checking with me about is getting a strong volunteer program started. I am lost as to how to do this having only been doing this a year I have just really gotten a feel for my job....

I have tried several different ways to recruit volunteers and get a few but they end up leaving within a month or so due to other obligations usually.....

 

My question where and how do you get solid volunteers that want to come in and stay to help with the program or integrate new ideas?

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I have one great volunteer who does our monthly "Ladies Tea". Start with an idea of what you want to accomplish and let them run with their own vision. I basically just show up and encourage residents to attend. I also have High School teens that help with bingo and other big events. Another Idea is Church congregations. My church has two ladies that do manicures, and another family helps with Karaoke. Also, contact pastors to see if they have lay leaders to lead bible studies, or Catholics have members do Communion.

 

Sincerely,

Blaine

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Volunteer Appreciation is sneaking up. What do you give your volunteers as gifts? For the past two years we have done a brunch with muffins, coffee cakes, fresh fruits. I made candy trees in little terra cotta pots last year. The year before they got a candle and a keychain. I invite at least 30 people and my monthly budget is $50. So I'm looking for inexpensive ideas that the volunteers will like and use. Any ideas are greatly appreciated!

Dianne

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Guest Tinki

Just to let you know we have some volunteer pins, t-shirts, magnets etc in the Activity Director Shop!

 

Just FYI,

 

Karen

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We get our vendors to sponsor a luncheon at a local Catholic shrine. (we're a catholic facility) We print certificates on the computer, and give out company logo materials (jackets, pins, mugs) for hours of service.

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Guest Michelle Randall

I am wondering if anybody out there has any good ideas for things that volunteers can do in an assisted living facility. I work at a brand new facility and right now we only have 9 residents but we can hold up to 50 so eventually there will be more residents. Right now we have so many volunteers that want to help but I don't know what to tell them to do. If anybody has any good ideas I would really appreciate it.

 

Michelle Randall

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Hi,

I work in a SNF and I love my volunteers.After they complete their orientation they do bingo,1:1 visits,crafts,manicures and Bible study. I always try to match a person to what their interests are and what they feel comfortable doing- some people have a fear of speaking in public for example. Tell them constantly how much you appreciate them and don't forget to do something for them during Volunteer Week B)

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You can always fine things for Volunteers to do. Most Volunteers just want to help out. Ask if they would help in the Dining room, Outside, housekeepers and Paper work for all Departments. So if you don't have anything for them in Activities Look at what they can do for other departments. You will make everyone happy.

 

Hope this helps you out

Robin

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Volunteer Appreciation is sneaking up. What do you give your volunteers as gifts? For the past two years we have done a brunch with muffins, coffee cakes, fresh fruits. I made candy trees in little terra cotta pots last year. The year before they got a candle and a keychain. I invite at least 30 people and my monthly budget is $50. So I'm looking for inexpensive ideas that the volunteers will like and use. Any ideas are greatly appreciated!

Dianne

Hi, You can do a lot of things. 1. First ask your facility for some T-Shirts, Bags, Coffee Cups anything with your name on it, give that out for gifts. 2. Do a Bingo with Popcorn and cokes give out gifts like Bath Stuff, stuff others have donatied that your residents can't have or use. 3. Send letters to store's asking for Items that you can give out for gifts. If you have a wal-mart you can call or write they will give up to 25.00 so will Kroger. 4. Ask the resients to help make something really nice to give out. Bake cookies. Get the staff to help by giving items most staff should help. 5. Have a Taco Bar ask all department heads to bring in one or two items that you will need and then sale 2 Taco's or Taco salad for 3.00 it should gp over really good. we did one and made 450.00 off one. I wish you luck!!! :-D

from

Robin

you may E-Mail me at any time.

act.4life@yahoo.com

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Last year was my first Volunteer Appreciation so I have just that experience to share.... I went to the dollar store and found some very nice crystal frames ..each a dollar. I then found a poem that I printed out in nice font on linen paper and framed it. They loved the message / poem/...it really hit on what we think of our volunteers and how much they are appreciated. We have a lot of teen volunteers so we presented the gifts at a pizza party. It was fun and the residetns enjoyed it, too.

 

Tiff

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Guest Guest_mawbell

Viva Volunteers!

by Akbar Khan in 2002

 

Like everyone else you face life’s struggles

Additionally, you volunteer your time

Though intrinsic rewards may be many

Wages you get nary a dime

 

Some volunteer for freedom and fun

Some out of goodness of heart

For many a reason, 1.3 million Canadian

Volunteers do their part

 

Feeding the physically challenged

Visiting with the old and lonely

Outreaching into the community

Beyond the call of duty

 

Looking after the elderly and sick

Delivering meals on the go

Around the clock, 365 days

Through rain or shine or snow

 

Being Big Sister to a young girl

Or Big Brother to a little boy

Sharing, caring and understanding

Spreading love, comfort and joy

 

Fundraising for charities

Canvassing door to door

You willingly do with a smile

What others consider a bore

 

So tonight we acknowledge your efforts

And in your honor proudly raise cheers

May God Bless you one and all

V I V A L A V O L U N T E E R S !

:hammer:

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Guest Karen (Tinki)

Volunteer Appreciation Week is in April!

 

Just wanted to let you guys know that all of our Volunteer products are on special in the Shop!

 

Plus, in our Bookstore we have these great new mugs that you can put your own photos in! Those would be great gifts for the volunteers!

 

What are you guys giving your Volunteers?

 

Karen (Tinki)

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Guest Jenni Seaman

I am having some trouble developing my Volunteer Program. Specifically, I tend to get volunteers who are very needy with not much self-initiative. I would like to find stable volunteers for evenings and weekends. Any ideas where to start, who to advertise to, how to advertise, and how to keep the good ones. Thanks!

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Hi Jennie,

Type up a geneneral letter and mail it in bulk to as many organizations (churches, schools, VFW's, etc) and keep mailing every 6 months to a year.

I noticed that for churches, direct your letter to the Ladies Bible Class, Youth Minister, Involvment Coordinator or Men's Prayer Group for specific responses. That way, when you follow up with a call, you can direct yourself to a specific person, instead of asking for anyone in general. Even with schools, direct your letter to specific teachers who are interested in taking their kids to schools for outings regularly - that will cut down on a lot of middle man.

 

When it comes to volunteering, I just spoke with one of my volunteers this morning and we were amazed with how God has blessed her and the ministry she has from church to visit the past three years! How quickly time flies. But you have to find people who WANT to volunteer - if they are needy, YOU don't need them! If you are a praying person, pray about it - God will send the right people your way! I know He did when he sent me this volunteer!

 

Having a system in place for orientation when you get someone who is interested, and having a name tag for them to be recognized as a volunteer gives them a sense of recognition and need. And whatever you do, when it comes to volunteers, treat them extra special - if it is between talking to them or a staff member, give the volunteer priority! They feel respected that way! I've learned, too, don't overwhelm them! Then they get burned out and leave quickly!

 

HOpe this helps!

Edited by Diana

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Guest Guest

Hey Jenni,

 

There is an article in the activity articles section on volunteers might help you as well.

 

Karen

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Guest Guest_lydia

: i need new ways to get the help with activities, our facility did not allow any volunteers for two years now i have to start form scratch. any suggests would be greatly appreciated.

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can you get some of the staff to help you , do you have and assistant to help you

the only thing that i can say is this is a hard job, do you have a family member that can come in and help you?

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Guest Guest_KateAA

The very first step is to develop job descriptions for all the jobs that you want volunteers to do. This will give you and them a clear picture as to what is espected. Then develop a plan for orientation, an orientation packet and a schedule for PPD's. As most states view volunteers as employees, they require all of the same regulations as staff. Having the job descriptions has really helped us.

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I agee with KateAA. she has given great advise there.

 

i dont' have any volunteers where i am at. i am a solo player with 50 residents. (some) Families do come in to visit and do individual activities with their loved ones, i have made suggestions to them of manicures, cards, etc etc to give some interaction.

 

volunteers can be a wonderful asset or they can be a HUGE pain. In my experience i have only had opportunity to work with a handful that were in it for all the right reasons.

 

have you thought of your local community visitors scheme >??? i find they tend to work quite well. and also...keep in mind..sometimes relatives as volunteers can be more time consuming than helpful.

 

advertise on radio...?? most places have a community radio station with a free community notice board spot...and the local paper...ask them if you can place an advert for free.....

 

i think being clear and concise on what you want from them is important so they know if they will fit in with the needs of your residents....do you want them to visit and read only..?? do you want assistance with group activities such as calling bingo etc...???...will they get a free meal..?? (some expect it)....or is a cuppa and piece of cake..??? or is it nothing..as they are volunteering..???..of course we know however if people volunteer for the right reasons..the rewards for them are Huge..:)

 

good luck!..:)

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I am a new AD and I'm having trouble finding vounteers I need some to help with daily activities. I have church groups but' I really need help Thaks 4 any help Mary

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Hi, Mary! :-)

 

Volunteers can really help make your job easier...but you have to grow them. Make sure you are taking care of the volunteers you have by awarding them certificates, praising them in newspapers and the facility newsletter, patting them on the back...treat them as though they were made of gold...they are! :pint:

 

When your religious groups are there, try to encourage some of them to volunteer for other needs that you have. Sometimes you get an older group of volunteers who are willing to come at different times during the day for coffee time, one-on-ones, help with decorating for the seasons, helping with parties and special dinners, and a wide variety of other things. Many of the younger people work during the day and find it very difficult to volunteer...but older folks who are retired are often looking for ways to fill their days. Also, their volunteering is a good way to sew seed for future census. That is, many of the 50+ crowd have parents who may need nursing home placement at some time. Some volunteers who are older than that may need placement for a spouse. By volunteering they will learn about the quality and caring of your facility. To me, a vibrant activity program is the best visible sign of quality care. ;-)

 

Also, try to establish a regular visit from the local elementary school. A reading to the resident type of program works well and counts as a one-on-one visitation. Sometimes a local college has an Activity Therapy program that requires its students to serve a practicum of so many hours. You can sign up to be a practicum director and they will send you students each semester. Family members make good volunteers as do their children. Also, the children of staff can volunteer. Do you have any children who wait in the facility for their mother to get off work? Grab them as volunteers. ;-)

 

Here's the secret of keeping volunteers: praise-praise-praise. It is important to establish a yearly time for volunteer recognition. Choose a day or evening other than National Nursing Home Week or National Volunteer Week (Why? Because the volunteers are probably swamped with other facilities wanting them to come to their party during that time). Instead, pick another time and you will have a successful showing up of your volunteers. At the volunteer recognition provide them with party food and drinks, set the tables with center pieces you can give away as prizes, give each of them an inexpensive gift, provide certificates of participation, award one volunteer as Volunteer of the Year, have someone to supply music during the party time (instrumental is best) so the volunteers can socialize with each other and the residents. Let the resident council be the sponsor of the event.

 

I hope this will help you out. :hammer:

 

Sincerely,

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Hi, Are there any suggestions for Pet Therapy? We had a new volunteer bring in a little pooch. After 15 - 20 min. residents and staff were out of topics to discuss. The volunteer /Pet Therapy program is slated for 45min. Looking for some ideas to fill in the down time.

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For fundraising the first priority would be the fund goal. There are many different ways for fundraisng. Fundraiser candies is also a successful way. M&M fundraising candy boxes, creative thoughts, labeling, packaging, selling techniques, even lollipops, candy pizzas and fun-filled events, can all work as potential settings for successfully selling candy for fundraising purposes and a wide array of causes.

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