It began with a phone call. Brock Collins, Senior Membership Development Officer from First Entertainment Credit Union, wanted to bring a group of employees to MPTF for a day of service. Brock and his team have been an integral part of MPTF’s benefits and wellness program, bringing in experts and/or offering the seminars to employees. Topics have included budgeting, planning for retirement, estate planning, buying a car, and much more. Brock and his staff have always been on site helping with employee health, wellness, and benefit fairs. But, they wanted to step it up!

“Fantastic,” Fredda Johnson, Director of Volunteer Engagement said, “Let’s find something fun and meaningful for your group that will benefit industry members.” It was revealed this would be a full day of service, an 8-hour kind of day of service. This was a first and perfectly timed.

MPTF’s Home Safe Home (HSH) coordinators, Holly Spiegel and Kym Hall, have long wanted to create an inventory of wood threshold ramps to help support the safety of clients living in their own homes. Threshold ramps provide smooth and safe navigation across raised landings, doorways, and other low inclines.

FECU’s Day of Service gave us the opportunity to fulfill the ramps project. The volunteers were in this 100%! They built nearly twice as many ramps as we had hoped and best of all, they designed and painted unique graphics for each ramp.

Help from FECU

The day began with a Power Tools 101 workshop led by experienced volunteers who have been so generous and giving of their skills to MPTF through the years. We are grateful to Ferb Leasure and Michael Caiozzo of Local 44, Errol Nofziger of Local 729, Michael Genne of Local 600, and Albert Drouin of Local 700 for stepping up as leads.

And then there was lunch…all the volunteers were paired with residents to break bread and share stories. During this intergenerational exchange, fast friendships were made with plans to visit again. The volunteers went back to the project with renewed enthusiasm to finish what they had started in the morning; they even brought a resident along to help with what was now an art project.

Though it seems like a little thing, adding personalization and decoration to safety features such as threshold ramps can really help us to increase a client’s acceptance and use of the items.

Plain old boring ramps? Not a chance! Colorful designs such as whimsical dragonflies and a big, painted WELCOME design make it into a fun addition to their home. There were many other creations from the FECU volunteers. They included motorcycle style flame graphics, hearts, flowers, midcentury groovy stripe graphics, a garden scene, and a nod to a very popular TV series.

The FECU volunteers came from multiple locations and departments, and brought with them wonderful energy, attention to detail, and commitment to the project. Their generosity was a benefit to clients who are aging-in-place, to the residents on campus they exchanged stories with, and to themselves for the well-being and purpose felt from their intentional acts of kindness.

Here’s to Future Workshops!

We are very thankful for First Entertainment Credit Union and to Brock for making that phone call! A special thank you as well to our tried and true skilled volunteers who led the workshop. And, we look forward to doing more with FECU or a new group of volunteer friends!

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