Written by Jaimee Green
Fifty years ago, it was through the tireless and passionate efforts of many that Faith Lutheran Home became a reality.
That selfless desire to see our area’s aged cared for is alive and well today and is being carried on through the efforts of volunteers who make it their job to continue to see enhancements made to the Five Star Facility.
Today, volunteers of every age make contributions, with high school students singing and reading to residents, church groups and organizations knitting lap robes and prayer shawls, washing and styling the residents hair and maintaining the outside flower beds.
The ministerial association also works together to provide Bible study to residents. The list goes on.
“Faith Lutheran Home has always had a strong connectivity to the community. People feel a sense of connection because they know the people who are working and living here. Many come to visit their loved ones and want to be part of making our facility all it can be. It is these personal touches and affiliations that make Faith Lutheran Home a home to our residents,” said JoAnn Hibl, director of nursing.
Once a week, a group of volunteers transforms the activities room and adjacent hair salon into a hub of friendly gossip, magazine reading and pampered relaxation for residents to indulge in while getting their hair washed and styled.
On an average day, 18 to 25 residents visit the salon. “This is one of the highlights for many of our residents who enjoy looking their best and taking part in an activity they are familiar with and have enjoyed indulging in for many years before they became a resident,” said Denise Zimmer, activities director.
A special fund is set aside for donations that help to cover the expense of shampoos, brushes, hair dryers and other items.
Several local volunteers keep the front planters filled with blooming petunias, geraniums and coleus flowers and other garden décor.
For over a decade, Pat Wilkinson has been dedicated to making the outside walkway area and entrance more aesthetically pleasing with the help of brilliantly colored petals, garden gnomes and other yard critters. During a two-year hiatus, the Frontier 4-H Club took over the gardening duties as volunteers working on service projects. “I think the residents should have something pretty to look at while they are outside or if they are looking out from their windows. I enjoy the responses they give, as well as the responses from community members who come to Faith Lutheran Home to visit,” Wilkinson said.
Last year, Leona Lewis began assisting with the gardening efforts.
A separate organization, known as the Prayer Shawl Ministry, consists of about 10 congregational and community members who knit lap-robes and shawls for residents to help them feel welcome when they move into the facility. The group meets monthly at the Roosevelt County Senior Center in Wolf Point.
“What makes these shawls so special is that they are full of prayers. As we are knitting them, we are saying prayers for comfort, peace and healing for the recipient and then they are blessed by the pastor before they are delivered to Faith Lutheran Home. It lets people know they are cared about and thought about and that they aren’t forgotten,” said Kathy Redekopp, a group member.
The items are also given to residents who need a new lap-robe or shawl, but may have been living in the facility for some time.
Locally, the group formed in 2006. To date, they have made about 230 items which includes the lap robes, shawls, newborn caps and hats for children undergoing chemotherapy.