Volunteers with Faith in Action for Cass County gathered May 14 for the annual spring training with an “early bird” theme to review program policies, receive awards for service and learn new skills in working with people in need.
This year’s event, held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Hackensack, included a presentation by guest speaker Kris Kayser of Good Samaritan Hospice Program. Kayser explained the hospice program, including its mission, costs and how it works.
In the past year, visiting or providing respite for someone in hospice has become a more common request for Faith in Action volunteers. Kayser stressed the importance of planning for future needs and concerns well in advance of a medical crisis.
In 2013, Faith in Action volunteers provided more than 4,000 hours and drove 51,000 miles in service to people in need in Cass County. Volunteers responded to an average of 142 requests per month. People served by Faith in Action volunteers ranged in age from newborn to 103; 76 percent of the people served were age 60 and older.
Six Faith in Action volunteers were recognized with bird-themed awards for their service above and beyond the call of duty.
Hazel Osen of Walker was awarded the “Mother Hen” Award for providing 125 hours of respite care in 2013; Linda Olson of Backus was awarded the “Road Runner” Award for driving 3,926 miles in 2013, getting people to medical appointments, errands, groceries and food shelf; Harriet Nerad of Walker was awarded the “Homing Pigeon” Award for 126 hours dedicated to delivery of Meals on Wheels to distant parts of Cass County; Steve Cashman of Walker was awarded the “Woody Woodpecker” Award for providing chore and handyman services to many in 2013.
Sherri Pluimer of Breezy Point and Anita Jordan of Backus were awarded the “Rockin’ Robins” Award for being fantastic friends to a woman with many medical issues who had moved and struggled with too much stuff to fit into her apartment.