2021 Renaissance Award Recipient: Meg Jones
January 18th, 2021
It All Started with a Manicure
Meg Jones’ longtime volunteerism at Knute Nelson began with providing manicures to residents.
“My friend invited me to do manicures for the residents and they were very excited about getting their nails done, which was quite a rewarding experience,” Meg said. “Then I was asked if I’d be interested in making memory boards, and it grew from there to many other projects.”
A Creative Touch
Meg has many favorite memories from her time serving as a Knute Nelson volunteer. Meg has worked on a wide variety of projects, yet a common thread that runs through all of it is Meg’s creative talents. From making crafts, décor, and baked goods to sell at the Friends of Knute Christmas Boutique, to making personalized bulletin boards for each of our resident’s rooms at the Care Center, to sewing hundreds of gowns for our Hospice patients and masks for use during the pandemic, to decorating the Care Center for holidays and as the seasons change—Meg lends her creative abilities to all of these meaningful projects.
“One of my favorite memories was the Fourth of July parade that happened during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Meg recalls. “I invited my granddaughter to dress up with me as a clown in the parade. The cheers and the smiles on the residents’ faces made it a very rewarding experience and hopefully, my granddaughter will carry on some volunteerism from that act.”
Another standout memory for Meg was the senior prom and grand march held at the Care Center.
“The residents picked up their gowns and had their hair and makeup put on,” Meg said. “And one of the resident’s spouses brought in a corsage for her. Isn’t that touching?”
“I love the projects being so diverse,” Meg said. “With all these different projects, it’s been the appreciation from the staff and the families that has been so rewarding. For example, I have worked on the hospice gown project and getting thank-you’s from the families saying that they appreciated their loved ones in a special gown has been very rewarding.”
Volunteering to Support Fundraising
Meg has volunteered her time on fundraising committees, helping raise significant funds to enhance the lives of those we serve.
“Another great experience were the fundraisers,” Meg said. “I was involved in making the silent auction baskets and a guest came up to me and said, ‘These baskets are so beautiful. I would bid on them even if there was junk in there!’”
Coming Full Circle
Meg is a retired nurse, and she spent her career as a labor and delivery nurse.
“I have been in the baby world most of my nursing career,” Meg said. “But as I retired, then our parents needed special attention and had different needs, which drew me to the older client.”
When asked what it meant to her to receive the Knute Nelson Renaissance Award, Meg said, “It knocked my socks off! It’s very humbling and it’s very heartwarming to know that the staff and the residents appreciate the volunteer efforts that we do.”
“The person who gets the biggest impact from my volunteerism is me. It’s made a big impact on me because, after retirement, I felt I needed to continue my service. I have found volunteering very rewarding, giving me purpose and joy.”
ABOUT THE AWARD
In 2013, we established the Knute Nelson Renaissance Award to recognize an individual, or individuals, whose leadership and support has been instrumental to the organization. Recipients exemplify the mission and beliefs of Knute Nelson. They have endeavored through word and deed, in both their professional and personal lives, to be agents of social change, support aging services, and demonstrate philanthropy with their love for humankind and community. The Renaissance period was a time of rebirth—political, economic, religious, artistic, and intellectual. Like that era, this award represents the diversity of interests and the goal of social change within the context and values of the Knute Nelson organization.