Showing gratitude

House of Compassion Volunteer Appreciation Picnic slated for Friday

T-R FILE PHOTO
The House of Compassion will host a Volunteer Appreciation Picnic on Friday, Sept. 22 from 5-8 p.m. at the Izaak Walton League, located at 2601 Smith Ave. in Marshalltown. Food and activities will be provided, and anyone who has volunteered at the HoC, such as these meal servers (pictured) and their families, are welcome to attend.

T-R FILE PHOTO The House of Compassion will host a Volunteer Appreciation Picnic on Friday, Sept. 22 from 5-8 p.m. at the Izaak Walton League, located at 2601 Smith Ave. in Marshalltown. Food and activities will be provided, and anyone who has volunteered at the HoC, such as these meal servers (pictured) and their families, are welcome to attend.

Hundreds of people give freely of their time and talents to the House of Compassion, cooking meals, operating the supply closet, cleaning and helping with the facility’s general operations. To show its appreciation, the House of Compassion’s board and staff members will host a Volunteer Appreciation Picnic on Friday, Sept. 22 from 5-8 p.m. at the Izaak Walton League, located at 2601 Smith Ave. in Marshalltown.

“We wouldn’t exist without our volunteers,” said HoC Board Vice President Pamela Strobbe.

Anyone who has volunteered at the HoC — and their families — are invited to the picnic. Walking tacos, brats, salads and other outdoor dining fare will be served.

“We will provide everything,” said HoC Director Karen Frohwein. “If people want to bring their lawn chairs or sticks for toasting marshmallows, they may.”

Attendees can take advantage of the Izaak Walton League’s outdoor features, including its trails, horseshoe and bocce ball areas.

A bonfire will be held, wherein s’mores will be made.

At 5:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m., short, free training seminars will be offered, showing the basics of CPR and how to use the HoC’s AED defibrillator machine.

“We want volunteers to be comfortable using emergency equipment at the HoC,” Frohwein added. “Miss Iowa pageant runner-up Emmy Cuvelier is volunteering to lead the program. Our goal is to train 45 people.”

Frohwein said the HoC is always in need of volunteers, but emphasized that those with time constraints do not have to commit to a certain amount of volunteer dates and times.

“We always need help running the supply closet, but anyone who has a special skill — cooking, arts and crafts, etc — is welcome to reach out to us. We’d like to start a book club here,” Frohwein said. “You don’t have to commit to a certain schedule.”

The picnic is also open to anyone interested in learning more about the HoC and its services.

“If you’re curious about us, you’re welcome to come,” Strobbe said.

How important are volunteers to the running of the HoC?

“We operate as a full-time staff of one and three-fourths workers, plus a cleaning crew. Our volunteers add up to the equivalent of 10 full-time employees. We are pretty bare bones here with our budget, so volunteers are the backbone of the HoC,” Frohwein said. “We can’t make it without them, so the least we can do is say thank you.”

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Contact Sara Jordan-Heintz at 641-753-6611 or sjordan@timesrepublican.com