Jan has been a loyal volunteer at our dining site at Mt. Mercy Apartments every day for the past five years. She gets the site ready each day for the meal, by setting the tables, making the coffee, and doing whatever she sees that needs to be done. She has always been a helper and loves doing things for other people, so this volunteer opportunity is perfect for her to serve others, as well as meet a lot of great people.
Jan was born in Traverse City, MI and raised in Kingsley, MI, living there for 21 years and living in Traverse City for 29 years. She went to school and church at St. Mary of Hannah in Kingsley and at a young age, she began helping her father at his grocery store to keep the floors clean and picking up. She also helped her mother with house cleaning, which is probably why she loves to see things neat and tidy at Mt. Mercy today. Jan eventually moved to Grand Rapids and has now lived here for 19 years! She volunteered at Steepletown for four years, when it was still called the drop-in care center, teaching children how to clean and pick up after themselves and be kind and use manners. Jan was awarded the Volunteer of the Year at Steepletown during her time spent there. Jan later volunteered with the Dominican Sisters at Aquinas Hall for 14 years, which included calling bingo one day a week in the afternoon.
She eventually made her way to Mt. Mercy to volunteer and has been a loyal help to the Site Coordinator, Theresa Peterlein. Theresa says, “I for one, could not have learned my job so quickly without her. She knows where everything is and is always willing to help me. I am very grateful to have her as a volunteer, but now a friend as well.” And Jan feels the same way about volunteering, she says that “volunteering is my big joy, I love to be able to help out, I feel like I am at home, because I was always a helper, my mother raised us that way.” Jan also says that all of the volunteers at Mt. Mercy help each other out with tasks and what to do, they have a good crew of people there.
We are so thankful for Jan’s commitment to our program and so grateful to have her as a part of our team. We appreciate her, and others like her who give so generously of their time to reach homebound seniors in our community. Thank you, Jan!