Suzanne Fred, Garrison
On May 1, 2012, I sent a certified letter to John Kutch, Trinity Health CEO. This letter was written on behalf of the past and present volunteers of the Trinity Sewing and Craft department. I was contacted and met with these volunteers as a sounding board for them to air their frustrations and disappointments. At one time this was once a very productive and meaningful place for them to volunteer. While maintaining a huge inventory of handmade items in the Trinity Gift Shops they also completed many requested service projects for departments within Trinity. This has been a tradition for many years and now there are few if any handmade items in the gift shops. These items brought in good money to put toward the ongoing projects of the Trinity Auxiliary.
The volunteers that do attend the now bi-monthly gatherings (none during the summer months) are limited to kindergarten-type projects. Many have left the department because these projects are insulting to them due to the skills they possess. They find the work no longer interesting or worthwhile. Because of this they were told that there were plenty of other organizations that needed volunteers if they didn't like the work. Really? Some of these volunteers have been with the department for more than 20 years and have contributed many hours to the organization. They find that there is a lack of appreciation, respect and mistrust.
To sum it all up, these volunteers want to feel needed, respected and to do meaningful and worthwhile work without feeling intimidated and insulted. To possess the knowledge and experience that each of these volunteers has is truly unmeasurable. A small amount of compassion and recognition goes a long way with volunteers as well as employees.
Needless to say, as of this date we have not received a response from Mr. Kutch. After all, they are just volunteers, right?