Dear Volunteers at Valley VNA,

To the kind people who deliver Meals on Wheels every week, yours is a ministry far beyond a hot meal delivered. Thank you for the gentle knock at the door, the warm smile, and the question, “How are you today?” We look forward to your visits and feel good knowing that you will be there to check on us.

Thank you for visiting us who are friends and acquaintances from your church or other houses of worship. When you come with prayer cards, communion, hand-knit blankets, and the weekly church bulletin or newsletter, the people who live here feel valued and involved.

Thank you for following through on your desire to pedal our new red rickshaws for our residents even after you discovered you’d have to attend three training sessions and practice in chilly weather. This summer will be so much more fun with the possibility of a good old-fashioned bike ride.

Whenever we hear the piano or flute or guitar, we are drawn to the music you play. When you invite us to sing songs we remember, our days are happier and good memories come flowing back. It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give us.

Thank you for agreeing to be a Valley VNA Celebrity Chef and sharing your recipes cooking-class style. To be in a kitchen again, with a little extra help from our friends, is a joy. Taste-testing is our favorite part.

Thank you for the treats and notes you bring to our caregivers. We like to know you see all their hard work. They tell us about your surprises and we are so proud of you for being such a good person.

Every year we need to be reminded to get another flu shot, and every year you show up and volunteer at clinics in the community because you understand immunizations keep us all safer. When you help protect us, we feel valued.

Thank you for bringing your gentle four-legged friends. When we pet your dog or cat (or horse!), our anxiety is soothed and we immediately remember our own beloved animals. Your pet is always so patient with us and it feels good to experience unconditional love all packaged up in a warm, soft, and accepting creature.

To the talented people who step up to serve on the volunteer Valley VNA board of directors, even though you have jobs to attend and businesses to run, thank you making complex decisions about budgets and staffing and long-term plans for Valley VNA. You help transform a mission statement into a mission accomplished.

Thank you to the gardeners who keep our growing spaces full of blooms and vegetable plants. You share your talents and knowledge so that we can enjoy the sights and scents of summertime—and pluck a tomato or bloom for our room!

When you come to see us, your loved ones, and talk to the staff about our questions if we can’t do it very well ourselves, thank you for being our advocates. We know you didn’t ask to take on this responsibility, but please know we appreciate all the paperwork and appointments and concern you express for us. We’ve lived long lives and we see the love in your gift of time.

Thank you for listening. To the stories we love to tell, to our grumbles about our aches and pains, or to the words we say when we are anxious or confused. We love it when you ask questions and we can reminisce and share our wisdom. If we get mixed up, you just go along for the ride and help us find our way again. When one of us turns to you and asks, “Now, who are you to me?” you remind us with such gentleness. It feels peaceful to spend time with you.

For decades, we helped others grow up and grow old. Now is our chance to rest and receive your gifts of time and attention. Volunteers like you are people who step up when they see a need. You make us proud.

Thank you,

The People of Valley VNA