The Place to Volunteer

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Are you looking for a place to volunteer?  Look no farther than a nursing home called Oakview in Conrad, Iowa.
Recently renovated and across the street from the high school, they have a friendly staff (and friendly residents), and this year they outdid themselves with their volunteer appreciation dinner held in the nearby town of Beaman.

There was a very nice crowd of mostly senior citizens, and the spacious room was decorated with beautiful quilts adorning the walls.  We signed up for the drawing for pots of petunias, and my dad and I put our names in the hat to be called up as contestants for Family Feud, the game of the evening.

I asked if there was anything I could do to help and ended up helping place salads at each table.  

The meal was catered by Smoking G's BBQ Catering Service from Marshalltown, Iowa and was scrumptious! (I'd recommend them to anyone looking for a casual catered meal.)  After the salad, we were served BBQ chicken (I don't know where they found such big chicken pieces; they were big enough to be turkeys), corn, and a huge baked potato with a tasty roll.  

The chicken was incredibly tender, and we had our choice of either regular barbeque sauce or raspberry sauce to enhance the flavor.

The raspberry sauce was "hot" or, shall I say, spicy, but the delicate taste of berries won me over.  The caterer was very service-oriented and constantly checked the tables to make sure everyone enjoyed their meal.  The serving sizes were definitely meant for lumberjacks (no one would go home hungry!), but as I'm not exactly a lumberjack (I've tried using a chainsaw once if that counts, but that's all), I could only eat half the meal.  To our delight, the caterers had thought of this, and we were supplied with doggy-bags for leftovers.

To me, dessert is usually the best part of a meal (my sister and I have taken to calling ourselves dessertatarians).  And the Oakview staff was sure not to disappoint us.  I don't know where they ordered the cheesecake from, but believe me, it was heavenly!  If only I could make cheesecake so delicious...

Then it was time for Family Feud.  My name was drawn for the Hatfield family while Papa was a McCoy.  A question was asked, for example, "We asked 40 people to list something they had now that they didn't have when they were 14."  There were buzzers at the first table and a representative from each team faced each other.  The first one to hit the buzzer could answer the question.  There was more than one right answer, but some of the right answers were worth more than others.  The team with the most points won.  The Hatfields got a head start, but the McCoys caught up in the end and emerged victorious.  (Next year we'll have to resume our vendetta...)

An added treat for me was winning one of the pots of beautiful petunias in the drawings...and yes, they're still alive in spite of my not-so-green thumb!

Are you looking for a place to volunteer?   You will find that it is a blessing to bless others.  Ecclesiastes 11:1 says, "Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt find it after many days." Folks have created the saying, "Cast thy bread upon the waters: it will come back sandwiches.  This time it came back as scrumptious BBQ'd chicken!

Thank you to all the folks at Oakview who made this a wonderful evening for us!