“In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” – Abraham Lincoln
No matter your age, we all know how important the bonds of friendship are in our lives. Even those who are part of a couple look forward to girls’ night and guys’ night.
According to Live Science, having strong friendships is good for your health. Your friends may help keep your mind sharp citing, “A 2012 study found that older people’s dementia risk increased with their feelings of loneliness.”
Lucky for all of us at 9Health Fair, we have five ladies who show up every Wednesday and prove to everyone in our office the value of friendship, volunteerism and community. They sort, count and package all kinds of supplies that we send to our health fair sites before the fairs run. We call them our “Wednesday Ladies”. They are Mary (organizer of the group), Pat, Phyllis, Christine and Mary L.
The Wednesday Ladies always bring baked goods or lunches to share. They care very much about all of who work or volunteer here. A number of us here at 9Health Fair want to recognize the incredible work these ladies do for us every week. Here is what they have to say:
“I think the biggest impact the Wednesday ladies have had on me since starting in December of 2015 is twofold:
- They show tremendous, unwavering support for one another in good times and bad. I have seen them celebrate and grieve together when a member of their group is going through a life-changing event. They show others what real friendship look like – it means crying openly when your companion needs it or giving space when your friend can’t bear to talk. They have reminded me of this beautiful compassion that humans can have for one another.
- And second, the power of laughter. I see each of the Wednesday Ladies have the ability to look at a life situation and find a way to smile. I have seen these ladies make my male 9HF co-workers blush with their sense of humor. Some might think that an elderly woman would be so proper all the time, but these ladies are just the right mix of class and sass! They offer just the right medicine to make life bright and exciting each day!” – Alex Andrews, Director of Volunteer Engagement
“These ladies are ‘rock stars’!! They are faithful, diligent and have great senses of humor. I hope I can be as active and healthy as they are when I reach their age (which is not that far away)!! Love them.” – Edith Thompson, 9Health Fair Advisor
“They are warm and caring ladies, many of whom have been volunteering for 9HF 20+ years…or more! They bring us some of the most delicious desserts and happily share their recipes.
I think they have folded more 9HF t-shirts over the years than some automated manufacturing lines! And they proudly wear their 9HF t-shirts. They take great pride in their work and they do it well…. don’t mess with their systems! Our Wednesday Ladies represent the heart and soul of 9HF. Our volunteers are the life blood of 9HF.” – Dianne Pape, Director of Business Development
“The Wednesday ladies are always an integral piece of getting our supplies ready for our fairs and an inspiration and constant reminder of why it is so important to give back.” – Dain Linder, Director of Information Technology
“I can tell you how nice it is to see them every week. I always look forward to it. They come in with smiles and are always there with a joke. It is always nice to join them for a break to enjoy a treat that is usually made from scratch. They always have positive things to say about people. They also care and worry for all the 9Health Fair employees. They will always be the first ones to give you a sympathy card or wish you luck. I can’t say enough about how wonderful our Wednesday Ladies are!” – Melody Ryan, Client Services Program Manager
We’d also like to recognize Jean Hoefer. She too spent much of her time volunteering with these ladies. She passed away this past spring from cancer.
There’s just something about gathering your closest friends together on a regular basis and supporting a cause you’re all so passionate about. The camaraderie that it creates is unlike any of your other friendships. We think our Wednesday Ladies would agree.