Meet Our Volunteers
Voted Best Place to Volunteer/Give for 5 Years!
Annual Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner
If you’ve ever taken a tour through The Caring Place, you know that it takes hundreds of hands and caring hearts to keep things running smoothly. Over 500 of those caring hearts belong to our committed and steadfast volunteers!
The annual Volunteer Appreciation and Awards Dinner which was held on April 28, 2015, is our way of taking pause to say “thank you” to the amazing men and women who give of themselves every day to help others in need.
This year’s affair included the lively and engaging talents of Mr. Thrill, renowned, DJ. Between bites of delicious stuffed chicken from CJ’s Catering, volunteers and their guests laughed, danced and had a blast socializing.
2015 Awards (for service in 2014)
Several volunteers were honored with awards at the event. The nominations were scored by a nominations group based upon a matrix using the following categories: excellence in client/customer/peer focus; continuous improvement; teamwork; professionalism; innovation; positive attitude; reliability. For the year 2014, six individuals or groups are being recognized for their contributions in 2014 that resulted in departmental efficiencies, better customer service and cost savings, positively furthering The Caring Place mission. Volunteers received awards in 2 categories: Doris Kromer Memorial Service Award and The Caring Heart Award.
The Caring Heart Award Recipients
Frank is an Intake volunteer who is incredibly dedicated to The Caring Place and the people we serve. Frank works diligently to expedite clients being seen quickly. He takes the initiative to help out wherever he is needed. He creates a team environment and can be counted on to always have a smile and a bright, positive attitude. We can always count on Frank.
Cathy is a dedicated client advocate who goes out of her way to assist our clients by helping them identify the root cause of their crisis and helping them discover ways to avoid crisis in the future. Cathy uses her skills to respectfully guide clients, and has an uncanny ability to find solutions to complex problems. Thank you for the loving and caring way you support all of our clients.
Gene has supported the mission of The Caring Place by assisting in the Information Management Dept. In 2014, Gene created an application for our Coats for Kids and Holiday Meal programs that proved to be vital to every aspect of handling these important programs. He was diligent in making sure the application was ready to go, and came in every day to ensure that all operations were going smoothly. His support and commitment to this project was truly inspiring. We presented this award posthumously to Gene’s wife, Jan.
Lorraine is the team leader of our Jewelry department. Although she is an expert in jewelry and pricing, if she’s unsure about a piece, she doesn’t hesitate to research it until she know what it is and its value. She is very creative in piecing jewelry together, making it shine and getting a fair price. She is very organized, great to work with and never asks anyone to do anything she wouldn’t do herself. Thank you for giving 150% to support our mission.
Leslie provides Quality Assurance in Client Services. She is not only a delight to work with, but can be described as a Nancy Drew detective, identifying problems and data errors and solving the mysteries of odd information. While Leslie has a breadth of tenacity, knowledge and reliability that make her excel, she also actively compliments others. Thank you for your dedication to our clients and for your joyful presence.
The Shoes, Purses and Small Accessories Team, which includes
- Carol and Lynn Jorgensen
- Betty Miller, and Summer House
Carol, Lynn and Betty represent a commitment to The Caring Place that spans over 15 years each. They come in to work in their departments several times each week as the volume is very high … and sometimes not very pleasant smelling. When one or two of them have to be absent the one or two remaining are always willingly pick up the slack. Each of them also participates in special events sponsored by the store. They have all helped train and work with our special friends from Summerhouse who come in to work several times a week. One of the three volunteers pots plants from her garden and donates the plants to the store to sell. Thank you for your exemplary teamwork and commitment!
We also recognize Julia Roby for her dedication in leading the Summerhouse Team.
Doris Krohmer Memorial Volunteer Service Awards
The Doris Krohmer Memorial Volunteer Service Award, recognizes extraordinary service and dedication to our mission.
Joyce, also affectionately called “The Cake Lady”, has baked over 500 cakes for clients of children at The Caring Place. Some of her cake designs include Dora the Explorer, Ninja Turtles, Barbie, Disney characters, sports themes and most recently, characters from the movie, Frozen. Joyce faithfully delivers these homemade cakes to The Caring Place Pantry and often makes special deliveries to parents after hours. Joyce also volunteers in the Food Pantry and shows great compassion and caring for our clients.
Ceil Kottmer (right, holding award presented by Rita Turner)
Ceil spends numerous hours at The Caring Place and at home, sorting through and packaging cards and other paper goods for sale in our thrift store. Throughout the year, she collects Christmas and other holiday cards, and attractively arranges them in the store for our customers. Ceil is hardworking, a wonderful teacher and has a great sense of humor. She finds the bright side in every situation. She encourages others to do a good job and patiently instructs volunteers on how to handle tasks at The Caring Place.
George’s role at The Caring Place is critical. He averages 150 hours a month maintaining our Point of Sale system. Many don’t realize that he’s not an employee! He conducts all of the cashier training, generates essential reports for the store, pantry and volunteer hours and is always willing to support all departments. George is dedicated, dependable and maintains a fantastic attitude no matter the circumstances. He inspires everyone around him with his chipper attitude.
The President’s Award
The President’s Award is for community service and leadership, collaboration with and connecting area non-profits to serve people in need.
2014 Awards (for service in 2013)
- (l to r) Al Beaver, Steve Schlobohm, Jodie Steger
Al Beaver has donated his time and talent to The Caring place for 2 1/2 years. He is known for his ready reply, “I’ll do it!,” said with a great big smile on his face, matching his unshakeable positive attitude. Whether it be Fresh Food For Families distribution, decorating for Sweets, Treats and Trees, sorting and pricing Christmas ornaments, assisting in the Food Pantry, pricing Tiny Finds for Re-Finds, or cashiering (his regular shift plus substituting for others), Al is always willing to help. Al’s contributions to The Caring Place cannot be quantified; he serves wherever and whenever there is a need. We are delighted that Al has chosen to share his time and talents with us, and we thank him for the smiles, the positive attitude and the many hours of work he provides to further the mission of The Caring Place.
Steve Schlobohm has been a client advocate for 4 years at The Caring Place. After retiring from the US Forest Service, Steve wanted to do something about poverty and to help people in need. Steve volunteers two 4-hour shifts a week at TCP and also for the St. Vincent DePaul Society. He is a member of Santa Rose Catholic Church and has lived in Georgetown for 5 years.
Jodie Steger can be described as caring, resourceful, dedicated, dependable and conscientious. Jodie is the “medical expert” in Client Services. Initially, she was trained to help clients with simple medical assistance, such as prescriptions and doctor appointment co-pays. However, Jodie took the initiative to research existing medical resources, and in doing so, found more ways she could help clients. She frequently utilizes prescription coupons on the internet, saving clients and The Caring Place hundreds of dollars. In addition, Jodie routinely calls doctors, dentists and pharmacies to inquire about discounts for the clients. Jodie continually goes over and above to provide our clients with resources, services, and most important, hope.
Mike Carson is our tremendously talented “Mr. Fixit”. Prior to construction beginning on the Annex last year, Mike and a volunteer crew were heavily involved in the demolition work. Under Mike’s supervision, he and the crew tore out the suspended ceiling, removed the heating/ventilation/air conditioning systems and duct work, took up floor coverings and removed insulation from the walls and ceilings. According to our architect, the work completed on The Annex by Mike and his crew saved The Caring Place over $60,000. Mike continues to help us each week by fixing and repairing items at both facilities.
Sheryl Rich is one of our fantastic and versatile volunteers who “does it all.” In 2013, Sheryl volunteered in Reception, Intake, Client Services, Donations, and Fresh Food For Families, as well as serving on the Client Services Focus Group and the Client Advocate Training Team. She also developed a more practical and effective way to orient and train new Client Services volunteers by “following the file”. She is well respected by her peers, who see her as a volunteer leader who is approachable, knowledgeable and caring about the many complexities related to serving our clients.