During the Month of September of our 110th year, we continue our Healthcare Heroes through History blog post series with a focus on the 1990s.
This month we are pleased to spotlight a very special person whose legacy lies within our robust “Circle of Caring” volunteer program. Charlotte first became involved with the VNA when she was appointed by the Selectmen in Northwood to serve on our Board of Directors in July of 1996. In her first year on the board, she founded and chaired a Volunteer Advisory Committee and then spent the next 15 years as a volunteer, devoting a significant amount of time to ensuring the success of the newly established volunteer program.
Charlotte built our Volunteer Visitor Program from a vision to a reality. Her wonderful idea took an incredible amount of work and commitment to make it happen. Charlotte spent endless hours presenting the program to groups and public forums or recruiting in the local post office. Starting in 1998, Charlotte began organizing our volunteer awareness initiative, setting up tables with information at local banks, post offices, and other public events to promote interest in and awareness of the program and to recruit potential volunteers. She personally interviewed each prospect via home visits or at the agency. Charlotte also organized and coordinated their training. In conjunction with our Nursing Director, Charlotte supported active volunteers by way of phone calls and occasional field visits, helping with placement, troubleshooting, and coordinating volunteer support meetings. She also supports the Hospice Director by recommending potential Hospice Volunteers.
During the school years of 1998 and 1999, she initiated our “Kids That Care” program, coordinating the program with the Strafford Elementary School eighth graders. For the first five years of the program, Charlotte helped to coordinate assignments and introductions. Eight students were recruited to visit homebound elderly patients and be their companions at regular intervals throughout the year. According to Charlotte, “During the school year, they became out-of-the-ordinary kids that chose to reach out to strangers from a very different generation than their own. Each paired up with an elderly patient, and eight lives were enlarged through their experiences.”
Charlotte’s experience working with volunteers was invaluable. She knew what was necessary to draw people in and get them interested, and she knew how to evaluate their appropriateness for the program. Most importantly, she knew what was needed for support to keep them interested and active.
In addition to managing the volunteer program, Charlotte wrote our Volunteer Newsletter, newspaper articles, thank-you letters, and recommendations. She was also instrumental in producing our volunteer brochure.
Charlotte went above and beyond in her board responsibilities by serving on other committees as well, including Finance, Fundraising (Capital Campaign), and Executive Committee. Within her church community, she served on the Education Committee and Mission Committee, collecting for local, less fortunate people and coordinating mission support for the homeless in the city of Boston.
Charlotte’s efforts to enrich our patients’ lives with volunteer companionship and to enrich the volunteer’s life by supporting and coordinating their volunteer effort were immeasurable in importance and significance. She truly made a difference in the lives of all who knew her and were privileged to work with her. Charlotte exemplified volunteerism in her work as our Volunteer Coordinator and through her valuable input as an active board Member.
Charlotte’s contributions continue to benefit everyone at Cornerstone VNA. Today, we have a thriving and robust volunteer program with a variety of opportunities for people to get involved and give back. Charlotte Klaubert’s passion for volunteerism continues to shine through our volunteer program.
“During my time as a Nursing Coordinator, I worked very closely with Charlotte to create a more structured volunteer program. Charlotte was very influential in my earlier years as I grew as a leader. I was blessed to have known her.”
Julie Reynolds, President/CEO