Kathy Vokoun gives Aggie Dometsch a manicure at St. John’s Lutheran Home last week. --Quinn Andersen/Albert Lea Tribune
Kathy Vokoun gives Aggie Dometsch a manicure at St. John’s Lutheran Home last week. -- Quinn Andersen/Albert Lea Tribune

Archived Story

Volunteering a smile is easy entertainment

Published 9:18am Tuesday, July 16, 2013

By Quinn Andersen, staff intern

With her brown bob haircut and a twinkle in her eye, Kathy Vokoun makes people smile. She loves making people smile.

“I try to make everybody smile, and they make me smile,” Vokoun said.

She has been a volunteer at St. John’s Lutheran Home for 10 years now.

“This is my home away from home,” Vokoun said.

She became a volunteer when her mother became a resident at St. John’s. She got to know the residents and said she just loves them so much she wanted to be part of their lives.

“It just warms your heart,” Vokoun said, “I think I get more out of it than them.”

Vokoun helps by giving manicures to residents and doing a variety of other activities. Residents can go shopping and go out to eat once a month. They have lots of music events, baking, gardening, social hours and playing cards.

Vokoun thinks the activities department is what really makes St. John’s shine. Every day is full of activities.

“It’s just so rewarding,” Vokoun said, “You have so many friends here.”

Vokoun enjoys getting close to the residents, and thinks volunteering is wonderful.

She said there’s always a need for more volunteers.

Carla Reichel, volunteer coordinator at St. John’s Lutheran Home, said it’s the best job in the world because everyone who’s there wants to be there.

Volunteers set their own schedules for what they like to do and what they have time for.

“It’s always OK to say no,” Reichel said, “You will never get a guilt trip.”

Reichel is excited to see possible new volunteers at a social event form 1 to 3 p.m. Aug. 15 at St. John’s. It will be a good chance to meet current volunteers and talk about what different volunteers do. Reichel said anyone interested in volunteering should attend or contact her at St. John’s Lutheran Home at 507-473-1028 or 373-8226.