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Teenagers assist elderly in extra-care-icular activities

By Staff | Jun 6, 2014

Thor Skjelver/PCT The Volunteen program from left to right: (back row) Director Linda Duchscher, Maisie Gault, Brook Radomski, Kasi Harmel, Thaniel Brandt, Kage Collier and Cody Matehs. Front row: Mariah Hjelden, Ashley Griffin, Kelsie Ebach, Morgan LaRocque, Alyson Mundahl and Ty Gross. Some volunteers are not pictured.

A vital program to the residents of the Haaland Home and Heart of America Medical Center kicked off Tuesday with a quick orientation.

The Volunteen program, which has been running since the 1970s, started the next day. The program will cover three main areas of service: Haaland Home, HAMC Care Center, and Acute Care. It will assist the elderly, supplement the services the three locations provide and help out wherever else the student volunteers are needed.

The group of 17 kids also has a number of field trips planned with the residents at HAMC facilities, with destinations ranging from the Minot Zoo to the International Peace Garden and everywhere in between.

Linda Kay Duchscher, HAMC director of volunteer services, discussed hours and activities with the group during the training program. The Volunteens will be able to come in from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for the remainder of the summer. Time will be recorded for work on a monthly basis.

The students also couldn’t wait to get started. “I really look forward to having fun with the residents,” seventh-grader Kelsey Ebach said.

Said fellow Volunteen Kasi Harmel: “I like getting to know the residents better and helping them. It feels good.”

Duchscher mentioned that traveling with the residents would be impossible without the volunteers. “I really look forward to this program every summer because the students are so excited and enthusiastic about this, and the residents love them being there,” Duchscher said. “They’re fun to work with. You can tell at the end of the year that the residents get attached to them.”

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