Charitable, Sacrificial and Supportive

One hundred and seven years of ministry and thriving communities have required much. It has taken generous donors, dedicated volunteers, spirited residents and their families, professional vendors and partners, talented associates, faithful churches, reliable community partners, caring organizations, businesses, and individuals. Among the dedicated volunteers of all our auxiliaries, which from our founding, have sacrificially supported the communities in every way imaginable.

While their activities vary, here are a few snapshots:
Bristol Glen Auxiliary President Barbara Bechtold explains, “Most of what we do is for Assisted Living and the Harris Center residents, so when resident and member Ann Bozak suggested high tea, we embraced it as a good opportunity to fund something special for the Independent Living residents. Ann took charge of arrangements for the white glove service, linens, specialty teas, petit fours, tea sandwiches, scones, flower arrangements, clotted cream, publicity, and every other detail. Dressed up for the unprecedented occasion, men wore tuxedos and women donned colorful dresses, elegant jewelry, and exquisite hats and gloves. Further setting the ambiance, volunteer and talented musician, Katie Pachnos, played beautiful harp music. Attesting to its success Ann stated, “I would love to do it again.”

At their 2012 annual meeting and exposition, LeadingAge New Jersey awarded Pitman Manor’s Tuesday Shoppers’ program the Innovation of the Year.  Michele Kent, president of LeadingAge New Jersey, presented the award to longtime volunteers, Carol Davis and Henrietta Sauter.  Although incubated almost 38 years ago, about 25 volunteers continue to take turns shopping each Tuesday for Pitman Manor residents.
At their 2012 annual meeting and exposition, LeadingAge New Jersey awarded Pitman’s Tuesday Shoppers’ program the Innovation of the Year.

The Pitman Auxiliary, headed by President Joanne Padget, does many events throughout the year. They solicit clothing donations from churches in the area twice annually and hold sales in September and April at United Methodist Communities at Pitman. October brings a large bazaar with all kinds of items. On the first Friday of each December, they give a Christmas party, assisted by volunteers on the day of the event. Each resident also receives a book of stamps well ahead of holiday mailing.

As all their sister community auxiliaries, some of the proceeds are donated to the Fellowship Fund and some for needs within the community. For example, the auxiliary donated money specifically to purchase two new chairs in the library, a space well-used by residents.

The annual April Showers brings out residents from every floor of United Methodist Communities at Collingswood. Churches donate bathroom, kitchen and personal grooming articles, perfume, stationery, paper products and more. The auxiliary sets up about eight tables organizing everything by bathroom and kitchen. Then, residents line up to shop, taking anything they want for free. Any leftovers are saved for future resident need. President Marti Milne observes, “It’s just like watching children on Christmas morning.” 

In contrast, the annual Grandma’s Attic which fills up the entire lobby, living room, and marketing area, brings in a profit as does the November craft and thrift sale. Some funds are donated to the Fellowship Fund and some for needs within Collingswood. Most recently these included a smoothie maker, chocolate fountain, new luncheon tables for the chapel, and a handicapped picnic table.

With focus on United Methodist Communities at The Shores and Wesley by the Bay, the Wesley Friends consists of between 15 and 20 members. President Janet Gibbons conveys, “My aunt and grandmother were volunteers at Collingswood. It’s in my blood I guess. My aunt would carry dishcloths, knives and other items, sold for fundraising purposes. She had a little black book listing all the members and their dues payments.”

In addition to shopping for specific items for residents, these dedicated volunteers buy at discount stores and sell the items at cost as a convenience for residents. The Shores’ Country Store sells paper towels, tissues, snacks and more. When stock is needed, the auxiliary members do the shopping. They also run a bazaar in August, Christmas party and monthly birthday parties.

Thank you volunteers!