Working with people and assisting them come naturally for Janie Stevenson, who retired from the healthcare field in August 2014, then joined the RSVP 55+ Volunteer Program. The Appleton resident plays in the bell choir at Memorial Presbyterian Church and volunteers for Lutheran Social Services’ program, Making the Ride Happen. She also volunteers with Limited Emergency Assistance Valley Ecumenical Network (LEAVEN) in Menasha, where she started in the records department. After a while she asked if she could be cross-trained to be an interviewer.
Today, she volunteers on Tuesdays as an interviewer and Fridays in records. Both roles have been rewarding.
“This is a complete experience working at LEAVEN,” she said. Not only do I help with interviewing clients and working in records, but in addition to that, I get to work with incredible bright, compassionate volunteers and staff.”
She notes the appreciation she receives from clients and staff.
“There isn’t a day that goes by that I’m not thanked for my work,” she said.
She also likes the variety of work that is available at LEAVEN, including training incoming volunteers.
“If the opportunity presents itself, typically I’m able to help out in other areas as well,” she said. “Not only helping clients, but working with other volunteers.
Being someone who can sit across the table from a client, listen to them and show them kindness, is very important to her.
“Customer service isn’t always about saying ‘Yes.’ It’s about compassion and sometimes you have to give people information that’s hard to hear, but if it’s done with compassion, at least they feel that you’ve tried.”