Dosia Carlson is a connection-maker. Never underestimate the multiplying influence of a person's deep commitment to service ministry. Recently, completing her seventh full-time volunteer experience at Abernethy Laurels in Newton, NC, Dosia writes about the weaving of UCC Volunteer Ministries through her life for the past twenty years.
"Back in 1989, while I was Executive Director of Beatitudes Center DOAR, we engaged numerous UCC volunteers through Carl Bade. One of the women who spent a year with us was veteran volunteer Betty Bicknell. During her time with us, she was recognized as "Volunteer of the Year." I even wrote a song that was sung to honor her at the national meeting. Betty had already volunteered several times at Abernethy Center, and she was very enthusiastic in her comments about that retirement place.
Fast-forward thirteen years, and there I am [now retired and on the other side] starting my volunteer adventures at Abernethy. Yes, Betty lives there as a resident. Over the years I became a close friend with another Abernethy resident, Lou Grandmaison; in fact, several times I lived right in her town house (on the same block with Betty Bicknell!) Lou began devoting her energeies to a prayer shawl ministry. Now, at the next CHHSM (Council for Health and Human Services) conference to be in March 2009, Lou will be honored as the "Volunteer of the Year." How grateful I am to be associated with both these caring women.
Today, Betty Nelson of our Church of the Beatitudes in Phoenix, Arizona, forwarded to me your current e-mail promoting the "UCC Companion Communities." I have agreed to serve on our local committee to help administer the program in Phoenix. I am so hopeful that this will provide meaningful experiences for young adult volunteers. Here's hoping that there will be many applicants.