If one is searching for a volunteer opportunity, a retirement community may not be their initial thought. “What could that possibly offer me?” But for those willing to take the chance, it can offer a wealth of opportunity. Karen Sprumont experienced these opportunities first-hand. Her journey with Redstone began when she accepted a position as a receptionist at our North Huntingdon community. Working every other weekend she began to feel a strong sense of community with the residents, staff, and resident family members at Redstone, leaving her with a desire to spend more time and contribute more. So, Karen began to volunteer in the gift shop, offering her upbeat personality and contagious smile. Shortly after she began volunteering in this capacity, the gift shop coordinator resigned leaving a vacancy in the position. Karen knew that she was a perfect fit for the job, given her extensive retail experience and recent volunteerism there. She applied and was offered the position, which she gladly accepted.
With her new title, Karen brought a breath of fresh air and enthusiasm into the gift shop. Her caring and compassionate nature allows her to go above and beyond the call of duty, making each customer feel special. Karen’s “Meal Deals” have become a well-known phenomenon throughout the North Huntingdon community. Whenever it is “Hot Dog Day” she dons a hot dog hat and has an array of catchy jingles to sing to each and every customer.
Although Karen does a spectacular job running the gift shop, sometimes it requires more than one pair of hands. Due to her fantastic personality Karen easily recruited resident volunteers internally, as well as externally from the community. One of those volunteers is her husband, Joe Sprumont.
Joe recently retired and found himself with extra time on his hands, and he thought “what better way to spend that time than with my wife?” So he chose to volunteer in the gift shop weekly with Karen, and he loves it! Joe enjoys interacting with the residents, staff, and families just as much as Karen does. He did say, however, that he had to adjust to having Karen as his boss at Redstone. Since she has been his boss at home for the last 30 years though, it was not much of an adjustment. Karen reports that Joe is an exceptional volunteer because he is trustworthy and personable. She also admires that he is the only man to volunteer in the gift shop.
We can all take a note from Karen and Joe to keep our minds open to new experiences and opportunities. You may find that a retirement community is the perfect place to offer your talents, either as a volunteer or an employee. And who knows…you, too, may end up working side by side with your spouse!