100 GlenOaks Drive, New London, MN 56273

(320) 354-2231

Claire Kelly—An extraordinary volunteer & award recipient

Claire Kelly is a volunteer at GlenOaks Senior Living Campus—and our second 2021 Volunteer of the Year Award recipient. Claire had been a nurse at GlenOaks, and upon her retirement, she continued to be a valuable part of the community as a volunteer. For over 10 years, she had been visiting residents, doing activities with them, and sharing stories and smiles. 

Then, COVID hit, and the doors closed to volunteers. However, Claire found other ways to be of service. 

Here are a few excerpts from her nomination:

When the doors closed for Claire during COVID—Claire, in her Claire-like ways—decided she was not done volunteering. So, even though she couldn’t support our residents, she switched her attention to supporting and brightening the day for our staff. She did weekly drop offs of
homemade treats, fresh fruit, cheese and crackers, bars, etc. She would always leave a note of encouraging & uplifting words on a card with the treats. We enjoyed every drop off she made and could still see that smile under her mask!

For staff, it was a joy to go to our break room and see some fresh treats to make us smile and lift our spirits during some long and stressful COVID days. It was great fun to hear staff in the breakroom say, “Oh, where did these bars come from?” And answer their own question with, “It was Claire Kelly, wasn’t it?!” And a smile would be on their face. I don’t think she knew how her kind gestures brightened our shifts.

This past year has been like no other. Our long-term care facility has seen many changes including isolation, restrictions, and loss. One of the biggest losses was the restriction of volunteers able to visit our campus. Claire Kelly has been a longtime volunteer—not only in our facility—but in many areas of our small community. Claire was determined to continue making a difference on our campus and not let COVID stand in her way.

How did she do this? Each week, sometimes twice a week, Claire would drop off baked goods, fruit, meat, and cheese trays for our facility. She would include an uplifting note.

Keep Going!
You Got This!
You are great!

This is what our staff and residents needed to hear! We needed to know that she and our community was supporting us and that we are doing the very best we can. I have no idea how many hours she has put into baking all her goodies or taking the time to hand writer each note for us, but her message touched our lives when we needed it the most

Congratulations to another wonderful volunteer—Claire Kelly—whose “love for volunteerism has not gone unnoticed.” 

If there is a volunteer at your facility that deserves some recognition…you can nominate them for a Care Providers of Minnesota award! Look for more information on our award program in March.