November 2019

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7th Annual High School Essay Contest Winners

AND THE WINNERS ARE...

The 7th Annual Volunteer Square Teen Essay Contest, in partnership with Hearst Connecticut Media, has come to a close. We received 116 essays from 41 high schools across Connecticut this year, by far our best year yet! The essays submitted truly represented how volunteering impacts the lives of teenagers in Connecticut.

Thank you to everyone that submitted an essay and to all that helped us promote this year's contest. Special thanks to our partners at Hearst Connecticut Media and to the Volunteer Square Advisory Board for reading every essay and helping us choose the winners. 

And now, without further ado, we are thrilled to announce the 7th Annual High School Essay Contest Winners. 

1st place winner Tabitha Baker.jpg 

MBI Staff Transform NCHC Pediatric Dental Suite

In the fall of 2018, on a site visit with the team from MBI,Inc., Betty Cordellos, Director of Development and Communications at Norwalk Community Health Center, shared that her staff would love to do something to make their newly renovated pediatric dental suite more kid friendly. The MBI team jumped on board instantly. In addition to having a very artistic staff, they were already committed to donate and volunteer at NCHC’s Thanksgiving Drive and Holiday Party. This was just another way they could offer support to an organization that they believed in.

On August 1st, the team of volunteers began the project that would take 3 months to complete. They broke into small groups and visited NCHC several times a week to work on the mural. After countless hours of painting, the mural was completed in late October. The staff at NCHC was blown away by the final outcome, that began at the beginning of the year with preliminary design discussions and the choice of an animal theme that include calm and vibrant colors. Betty Cordellos raved “They are magicians. They turned a boring beige space into a fantastic pediatric dental room that kids actually enjoy visiting!. It’s been a beautiful partnership for us and we can’t thank them enough.”

Volunteer Spotlight On Steve Sweeney

At Volunteer Square, we love to recognize exceptional individuals that donate their time and energy to nonprofit organizations across Fairfield County. These volunteers make a true impact in the lives of others.

November is Hospice Month and we are thrilled to feature story written by Alice Mulligan, Director of Marketing and Development at Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County, highlighting one of their extraordinary volunteers.

Steve Sweeney of Wilton believes in giving back to his community. The married father of three is a retired CPA and now serves as a Patient Care Volunteer with Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County.

Steve is warm, personable and a lively conversationalist. In recent years, he visited with several friends who were terminally ill. He realized that by visiting his friends at their time of greatest need, he was able to ease their distress and bring them comfort. The experience changed him and after that, his wife encouraged him to become a hospice volunteer.

For the last five years, Steve has been visiting regularly with patients of Visiting Nurse & Hospice of Fairfield County and it has been a profoundly rewarding experience.

“Patients can talk to a volunteer in a way that they can’t necessarily talk to their loved ones,” said Steve. “Sometimes patients tell me things that they are reluctant to discuss with their families so as not to pain or burden them. They are free to tell me anything – I am there to listen with an open heart.”

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