Submitted by Kath Pengelly, Lifeworks volunteer and advocate coordinator
Once a week, Tuesdays at noon to be precise, Melanie Horner never misses lunch and we are so glad. Melanie uses her lunch break from Northwestern Mutual in Mendota Heights to volunteer at our Lifeworks Eagan center.
She first came to Lifeworks three years ago to help at a holiday party while she was working for a different employer. This year, she began working for Northwestern Mutual and discovered that she could use her lunch break to volunteer, so she reconnected with us to help during a weekly art class.
I asked Melanie what she liked best about spending Tuesdays with us, and she said she enjoys sharing her personal hobbies and interests with us. She and our clients and staff have a common passion for exploring eclectic crafts. The day that I caught up with her they were using photographs and card stock to make postcards for friendship notes.
“It is so nice to have this to look forward to each week, it is my get away to do good,” she said. She was quick to add, “I have a very flexible boss and he helps to make this possible.” Melanie added, “Jean, the staff that I work with, has great ideas, has everything organized, this is so easy to do during my work day.”
Studies have shown that people who take a break for lunch from work feel rejuvenated when they return, experience less stress and may be more focused on their tasks.
We benefit in so many ways by Melanie’s generosity, having her with us allows extra one to one support for the crafters. Our clients talk about Tuesday,” Melanie is coming”, and smiles are everywhere when she walks in the room. Her gift is more than the hour, it is genuine camaraderie.
How about you? Do you have an hour that you would like to share with others? Please call me at 651-365-3720 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Take a break.