I’ve been volunteering at the Wellness House of Annapolis for over four years. Living nearby, I was aware of this wonderful community resource and drove by the picturesque entrance daily. There’s something remarkable about the rural horse farm setting. Maybe it’s the long curving gravel driveway on the other side of an alluring gate leading to a white clapboard farmhouse at a slightly higher elevation in the distance.
Initially, the advertisement of a Yoga-Thon fundraiser event caught my eye for two reasons: yoga is one of my favorite things to do and more importantly, my 10-year younger sister had been diagnosed with lung cancer. She was a life-long nonsmoker and a runner. So, I signed up to attend the event with her in mind. It was there that I met Kay Hunter, the member services manager. I asked about volunteer opportunities at the House.
“Why don’t you stop by on Friday.” she said.
And after that, it was history.
What does a house hostess do? Think of it as what needs to be done around any home. Throw in some laundry, empty the dishwasher, or fluff up the pillows in the living room. It’s the same at Wellness House. Additionally, we set up for classes, put out snacks, answer the phone, and whatever else is needed.
What I enjoy most is greeting members as they sign in for activities like a yoga, jewelry-making or art class, counseling session, or special time with our dedicated volunteers who share their expertise in Reiki, Healing Touch and general massage.
Welcoming new members and their caregivers to the House for the first time is especially gratifying. I’m given the opportunity to make them feel at home and to describe the many support services available to them at no charge. Providing a tour of the House is my favorite thing to do, but I will save those details for my next blog.
Though the House is currently physically closed for visits, new members are still encouraged and welcomed to join in the online programs and groups. If you or someone you know could benefit from this warm community, click here to apply and our Member Services Manager, Kay, will be in touch with you directly.
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Lois Villemaire is a dear friend of Wellness House of Annapolis. She came to know our community first as a caregiver for her sister who fought and sadly lost her battle with cancer, then as a caregiver for her husband who is a cancer survivor. She has graciously given her time as a House Hostess since, always glad to help us welcome members old and new into our community. When she is not volunteering at the Wellness House, Lois can be found writing for the Annapolis Discovered blog, discovering new and intriguing books, and critiquing the latest movies with her husband Paul.