Volunteer of the Month

February Volunteer of the Month- Brian Hoffart

What is your role at Mourning Hope?

Board Member, House Committee Chair, & Board Treasurer. I have volunteered at Mourning Hope for 6 1/2 years.

What is your profession outside of the Grief Center?

Banking.

Why did you start volunteering at Mourning Hope?

I have a passion for helping children and young adults.  I'm also a Wesleyan alumnus.  It was the perfect marriage for me.

What is your favorite thing about volunteering at Mourning Hope? 

I've been able to use my strengths to serve our cause.  I've helped with donor development, strategic planning, and some financial management.  

Tell us something about your life outside of Mourning Hope?

Mourning Hope's founder was my seventh grade guidance counselor at Lux Middle School.  While we didn't have many interactions at the time, because I of course was a model student :), it's funny how things come full circle.  Lincoln may be growing but it's still a tight knit community.

What advice would you give to others considering volunteering for the Grief Center?

 Determine what your passions and strengths are and then figure out how those things can serve this great cause.  Chance are you'll find or create the opportunity.  We need all the help we can get. 

Congratulations, Brian! Thank you for many years of generous service to Mourning Hope.  Your willingness to assist with moving our Center's mission and vision forward in a strategic manner has been greatly appreciated. 

January Volunteer of the Month- Joan Michelsen

What is your role at Mourning Hope?

Work with the Finances of Mourning Hope. I have volunteered at Mourning Hope for 15+ years.
 
What is your profession outside of the Grief Center? 

VP - Accounting & Asst Controller for Ameritas Life Insurance Corp.
 
Why did you start volunteering at Mourning Hope? 

They were recruiting new members for the Board of Directors in 1987. My good friend, Jim Dymacek, was on the Board of Directors at the time and thought this organization would be one that would interest me. He was very right! I stayed on the Board for several years, and volunteered in sessions. Once you are a part of the grief sessions and see firsthand what our organization can do, you are hooked!   Since then I have been working with the financials.

What is your favorite thing about volunteering at Mourning Hope? 

Mourning Hope was founded with an important vision, and has been evolving ever since to meet that vision. The outreach has grown as needs have been discovered and funding has been available to meet the needs. AND... the volunteers are phenomenal to work beside. 
 
Tell us something about your life outside of Mourning Hope?

My husband, Jon and I have three daughters who have now all provided us with wonderful son-in-laws. We love family time and traveling. I love sewing and reading. I sing in the Abendmusik Choir and ring hand bells in two choirs.

What advice would you give to others considering volunteering for the Grief Center? 

This organization touches the lives of so many children and youth. If this is important to you, then this is the place for you.

Congratulations, Joan! Thank you for 15 years of selfless service to Mourning Hope. Your dedication to assisting with our financials has made ALL of our lives easier. We could not function without you!

December Volunteer of the Month- Ida Lim

What is your role at Mourning Hope?

Volunteer. I help with cleaning the facility, baking and catering food, and assisting with special events.

I have volunteered at Mourning Hope for 9 years.

What is your profession outside of the Grief Center? Retired Banker since 2004. Currently a homemaker and gardener at the Benson Farms.

Why did you start volunteering at Mourning Hope?

My daughter, Jennifer Benson, was the first Executive Director of Mourning Hope. She encouraged me to volunteer.

What is your favorite thing about volunteering at Mourning Hope?

Every child's sad face, every child's tears, every child's broken heart is important to me. Children attending Mourning Hope Grief sessions will get the attention, support, and love from every professional and volunteer. I love the fact it is free and everyone is welcome.

Tell us something about your life outside of Mourning Hope?

I am a member and volunteer at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church. Additionally I volunteer at American Cancer Society as a driver for the Road to Recovery Program and as a fund raiser for the Relay for Life. I have volunteered for more than 20 years. I have one daughter, one son, and one grandson. I am a wife of 47 years to a wonderful man.


What advice would you give to others considering volunteering for the Grief Center?

Mourning Hope is important to our children and to our community.  You can help with your time and your talents.  Everyone has something to give.

Congratulations, Ida! Thank you for your amazing baked goods...for cleaning our facility regularly for YEARS...for serving on our board and various committees...for assisting with our grief support groups and special events...and for your ongoing dedication to Mourning Hope's mission. We could not function without you!

November Volunteer of the Month- Linda Ashelford

What is your role at Mourning Hope? 

Maker of the quilts

I have volunteered at Mourning Hope for 10 years

What is your profession outside of the Grief Center?

 Homemaker

Why did you start volunteering at Mourning Hope? 

My sister Gayla (also a Mourning Hope Volunteer) asked if I would!

What is your favorite thing about volunteering at Mourning Hope? 

The joy that the people get from seeing their block in a quilt.

Tell us something about your life outside of Mourning Hope? 

I am very active. I belong to Women's Welcome of Lincoln, I am a member of Friendship Force of Lincoln, I have a quilting business where I machine quilt for people, I have 2 sons and 5 grandchildren, I belong to several card groups. I like to keep busy!  

What advice would you give to others considering volunteering for the Grief Center? 

If you wish to help children through their grief period then choose to become a volunteer.

Congratulations, Linda! Thank you for being Mourning Hope's quilt maker for over 10 years! You have brought smiles to many faces thanks to your ongoing dedication at our Center!