132 YEARS OF SERVICE to Southern Minnesota
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128 North Broadway, New Richland, MN 56072
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It seems that a lot of readers like to browse, and a lot of browsers like to read. If this is your cup of tea, the Hospital Auxiliary has just the thing for you. They are having a book and gift sale on Tuesday, May 28 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Room 20 (next to the cafeteria) in the Albert Lea Hospital. (Genie and I are both volunteer Auxilians.)

The definition of a good volunteer is “a person with the inability to say ‘no.’” Genie and I both qualify! Following are some times we could not say “no.”

Reader’s Theater is a group of older aged men and women who read and act out stories to the kindergarten through third grade students in the Albert Lea schools. A great reward is when a youngster will walk up to you and say, “I know you, you did Reader’s Theater to my class.” (St. Theodore’s Catholic School honored us with a mass and a brunch.)

Genie and I ring the Salvation Army bells at Christmas time. A great reward is when parent and child sheepishly approach, wanting to know if the child can ring the bell again this year. (The Salvation Army honored us with an appreciation dinner.)

We both help with the Adopt a Highway program on a two-mile stretch of I-90 west of Albert Lea, sponsored by Thrivent Financial. The reward is a clean freeway plus an evening meal afterwards.

We both adopt the park at Beaver Lake. The reward is a cleaner-than-when-we-started park, plus any money, and cans and bottles that we recycle in New Richland, Iowa or Michigan. (About $10 in money found and about $400 in cans and bottles recycled.) We are allowed to add our garbage to that found and put it all in the park dumpster – thus no garbage bill. If any resident of Beaver Lake is interested in adopting Beaver Lake Park, please let us know. (Because we are no longer summertime residents at Beaver Lake, we would like to be replaced.)

Genie and I are both involved as Auxilians at the Albert Lea Medical Center – staffing the gift shop and the coffee shop, magazine recycling, helping with daffodil sales for cancer, plus a few other things. The reward is eating at the cafeteria plus a food Christmas gift, as well as talking to a lot of friendly people. Working there is just like sitting on a deer stand: sooner or later a deer will come by. Sooner or later every area resident will come by.

We are both active in Central Freeborn Lutheran Church: Sunday school teacher, door greeter, schedule a bus to the Twins (We’re going Monday, Aug. 1), schedule a bus to Christmas by the Lake in Clear Lake, Ia. (We’re going Saturday, Dec. 7), Valentine Norwegian Bingo, etc. The reward is Heavenly.

Readers, for your information, the volunteer activities are what we’re sending in to the University of Tennessee for Genie’s Doctor’s Degree and my Master’s Degree. (Our degrees are from there because Tennessee is the Volunteer State!)


Bob is a retired AAL (Aid Association for Lutherans) agent, currently working on his master’s degree in Volunteering. His wife, Genie, is a retired RN, currently working on her doctor’s degree in Volunteering. They have two children, Deb in North Carolina, and Dan in Vermont. Bob says if you enjoy his column, let him know. If you don’t enjoy it, keep on reading, it can get worse. Words of wisdom: There is always room for God.

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