Saint Therese of Woodbury‘s Superhero Volunteer of the Year for 2020
Imagine being bedridden and unable to do daily tasks, like simply getting your mail, without help. What if you relied on a wheelchair for mobility and dreaded picking up that package you’ve been anxiously awaiting because it’s physically difficult? Have you ever been so sick you allowed a lovely bouquet of delivered flowers to sit lonesome on your porch? These seemingly small situations weigh heavily on some residents and guests who worry over both anticipated and surprise deliveries.
Like most senior living communities, every day there is an abundant amount of packages, flowers and mail delivered to the nearly 300 residents and guests at Saint Therese of Woodbury.
Irv Wiese is an independent living resident at Saint Therese of Woodbury who strives to alleviate that extra stress for his neighbors. Every day, he can be found in our care center, enthusiastically delivering mail and packages to long-term care residents and transitional care guests.
“He always shows up with a smile and a friendly ‘hello’, said Community Life Director Katie Leonard. “All our residents and guests have formed a special relationship with our ‘mailman’ and look forward to seeing him daily.”
The team at Saint Therese has nominated Irv for LeadingAge Minnesota‘s Volunteer of the Year Award because he literally delivers our mission, do ordinary things with extraordinary love, every single day.
“He helps me out by delivering mail and packages missing apartment numbers. I cannot say enough good things about Irv,” said Rural Carrier Associate Alanna Proctor, United States Postal Service. “He’s so friendly, personable, responsible and helpful! He… makes my job easier.”
Irv has been our resident since March 2016. After settling into his beautiful apartment with his wife, Delores, it didn’t take him long to realize there was a great need for someone to assist with mail and package deliveries throughout our care center.
It takes approximately 30-45 minutes each day for Irv to make his rounds. His delivers sometimes include newspapers and literature from our organization or community. When he was asked if he would like some assistance or would prefer to limit his volunteering to specific days, he quickly said no — he enjoys his duties and looks forward to seeing his neighbors every day.
Since Irv became an official volunteer at the end of 2016, (meaning his hours are recorded), he has gifted Saint Therese with more than 600 hours of his time!
“Irv may not be Superman, Spiderman or Aquaman but he is our ‘Superhero Mailman’ of Saint Therese of Woodbury,” said Caroline Cadalbert, marketing director. “Irv has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to older adults by going above and beyond his volunteer duties. That’s why we nominated him for the 2020 Volunteer of the Year with LeadingAge of Minnesota.”
And although Irv was not selected this year by LeadingAge, he’s truly a winner by our standards. We cannot thank him enough for everything he does — even the small things he does with the greatest of love.