- Last Updated on Monday, 14 May 2012 19:39
- Written by Ora Hollaway
- Category: Church News
JOLIET - Blaine Bowen was named Sunny Hill Nursing Home’s 2011 Schuth Gratia Deo Volunteer of the Year during the facility’s annual volunteer tea, that this year celebrated more than 20,000 volunteer hours.
The award is named after the Rev. Louis Schuth, who was a chaplain at the nursing home during its early years and is credited with starting the volunteer program. The Schuth award was one of three honors announced during the annual tea at the county-owned Sunny Hill Nursing Home of Will County, 421 Doris Ave.
Bowen, an over-the-road trucker from Joliet who schedules his volunteer hours around his work schedule, has been volunteering at the nursing home for two years. He has volunteered in many assignments, but there is one, which both he and the residents really enjoy – when he opens the Sweet Shoppe, where residents can buy ice cream and other goodies.
The Belizzi Community Award, which goes go the group Volunteer of the Year award, went to St. Patrick Catholic Church of Joliet for members’ help with monthly Mass, rosary, Polka Mass, distributing communion and visiting the sick. The Bellizzi Community Award is named after the late Jacqueline “Jackie” Bellizzi, who was a dedicated volunteer at Sunny Hill until retiring and moving to Albuquerque, N.M.
Resident Marcella Swanson was named the Sunshine Volunteer of the Year. Sunshine volunteers are residents who make popcorn, pass mail, escort fellow residents to activities, greet new residents and much more in service to others and the community at Sunny Hill.
Swanson, who lived in Joliet before residing at Sunny Hill, leads the residents in interviewing prospective employees. Having a group of residents weigh in on who should work in their “house” is a unique part of the resident-centered care concept at Sunny Hill.
Lindholm said community members gave 22,074 volunteer hours to Sunny Hill in 2011. “If assigned a straight wage of $8 per hour -- excluding any benefits – that would translate into $176,592 of staff time. And, of course, that $8 per hour is low for many services that they provide.”
Eighty-six community groups supplied talent, time and activities throughout the year.
Sunshine volunteers provided 12,928 additional hours.
Anybody who wishes to volunteer may call Lindholm at (815) 727-8711.
Sunny Hill is under the Will County Executive’s office and is led by Administrator Karen Sorbero. For additional information about the nursing home, go to www.willcountyillinois.com or visit the facility’s Facebook page.
Photo above: Activity Director Larry Lindholm (from left), and Administrator Karen Sorbero present Blaine Bowen of Joliet the Schuth Gratia Deo Volunteer of the Year award during Sunny Hill Nursing Home of Will County’s volunteer tea. (Photo courtesy of Sunny Hill Nursing Home of Will County)