Volunteer Opportunities

Make A Difference

Consider a role as volunteer and being part of the important work of the Normandale Center for Healing and Wholeness (the Center). Opportunities include volunteering one-on-one with a senior, becoming part of a volunteer team, or volunteering at a Senior Housing Campus, among others.

A volunteer orientation training session with the Volunteer Coordinator at the Center will help you discern where your interests and gifts intersect with the needs of the seniors and families the Center serves, and we provide on-going support, monitoring and guidance throughout.

An initial application, interview and background check are required.

For more information or an application, please call Marta at 952-977-9365 or via e-mail at: marta@normandalecenter.org

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Volunteer Opportunities Include:

Volunteer Team – One-to-one friendly visiting/helping a senior.  The volunteer team concept allows people to provide their time and talent without overcommitting (regular schedule, generally once or twice a month).

Volunteer Memory Companion – Complete a special training class and provide one-to-one visiting with a person who has mild to moderate memory loss while his/her family caregiver takes a break.  Meaningful engagement activities explored.  See Memory Companion program description for more details.

Trained Instructor/Facilitator – Complete special class-specific training and co-facilitate Health & Wellness group classes.  Generally volunteer instructors must do at least one group class (6 or 8 weeks) a year to maintain certification.  Volunteer instructors often find the training and education useful in their own life.

Volunteer “Coach” – Complete training on active listening techniques and work with a senior on goals, “healthy moves” and promoting self-direction.  As a coach you will provide regular telephone check-ins for a defined time period.

Volunteer at a Senior Housing Campus – Wonderful opportunity for families and individuals to build a relationship with seniors.  Provide activities that enhance community for residents living in a senior housing facility, including assisting with special events and friendly visiting.

Volunteer Office Helper – Working under the direction of the Office Manager, provide assistance with large mailings, data entry, event registrations and phone calls.

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Featured Volunteer – Keith Narr

On the second Saturday of each month, whether the summer sun is shining or the ground is covered in snow, a group of people gather for some morning fellowship. They are all caregivers for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, coming together for support, and while they might come for a month or a year or many years in a row, Keith Narr has been there from the beginning.

Keith was in school to become an addiction counselor in 2012 when the Normandale Center for Healing & Wholeness and Normandale Lutheran Church started the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group. Keith’s interest in counseling and his experience caring for his mother who had recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, made him the perfect candidate to become the group’s facilitator.

The group started off small in April of 2012, but has grown steadily. “If we had 6 people show up [in the beginning] that was a big group, now we regularly have around 20,” Keith said. Over the years, the facilitators have grown too. “The first year was the most awkward,” Keith remembers. “I had a little experience so I wasn’t anxious. But the secret is to say as little as possible, and it took me a little while to learn that. I was trying a little too hard. I was afraid of silence, but I learned that it’s important to embrace that silence.” The success of the group comes from how the members fill that silence. Keith says that “the participants learn the most from each other,” and while they will continue to learn from each other, soon they will do so with a different facilitator guiding the group. In 2017 Keith will step down from his role with the Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Group.

He leaves behind a strong legacy of service, but Keith doesn’t see it as an act of simply giving. “I know I’ve gotten more out of the experience than I’ve ever given,” he says. “It’s my blessing to be able to do this. No matter what I’ve done, I’ve gotten the benefits.”

We are thankful to have been blessed with such an excellent facilitator over the past 5 years. Thank you Keith for your time and energy, we have all benefitted from your efforts.

 

For more information or an application, please call Marta at 952-977-9365 or via e-mail at: marta@normandalecenter.org

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