Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

February 12, 2014

She still wants to volunteer but hasn’t been called

I have never been a retaliatory person; I have always been able to accept constructive criticism. That being said, I must respond to Susie Holliday’s letter of Jan. 23 in the Times-News, “Give gift shop a second chance; visit, make up your own mind.”

I echo that sentiment to the general public — visit, make up your own mind.

My original letter, “Even residents can’t afford what’s sold there” Jan. 16 Times-News, expressed my displeasure that Sherry’s Village Gift Shop at Frostburg Village had been remodeled into an expensive boutique.

In that original letter, nowhere did I say that the gift shop’s name was changed — or was being changed.

However, I did say that a name change was being considered. (The operative words here are being considered).

The reason I wrote that is because these statements appeared in the original letter distributed to all nursing home departments: “Staff involvement is encouraged in the gift shop changes. We would like to have employee involvement in ideas for a name change.”

My statement, therefore, was not based on rumor but on fact. However, in the meantime, the staff did vote not to change the name. It is still Sherry’s Village Gift Shop, and the plaque with Mrs. Hafer’s picture and tribute is still on display in the gift shop.

Several years ago, the young woman in charge of the gift shop said, “You know, I don’t think this it’s right that we have to charge these residents $3.95, $4.25, or $4.50 for a greeting card. Let’s use a color coding on the back of the card and no card will be more than $1.”

That system was welcomed by volunteers and residents alike. (The gift shop volunteers have always been cognizant of the limited monetary resources of the residents. In fact, we kept a box of loose change in the drawer to augment the amount if a resident was a bit short of the purchase price of an item).

For years, there has been a ladies’ church group that has donated many of those everyday cards that we all receive from charity organizations.

The gift shop also had a distributor who regularly placed special holiday cards in the gift shop. Once in a great while an older card would appear; apparently no one needed it.

Nowhere in my original letter did I say that I would no longer volunteer because I refuse to give the proper information for a background check.

What I did say was that we have recently lost volunteers because of the requirements for a background check. My application is on file; all of my information is available.

Incidentally, for the past 20 plus years I have been volunteering at Sherry’s Village gift shop. I have received at least two award pins, which I proudly display on my smock. At last count, I have amassed approximately 2,755 hours.

I recently called the number to volunteer in answer to the announcement in a local church bulletin. I have not yet been contacted.

As I said at the beginning of this letter, I can accept constructive criticism.

However, if anyone wishes to criticize me through my letters, criticize me for what I have written, not for what you think I have written.

Nancy Martens

Frostburg

 

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