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Category: Region News

Pioneers Don MacKenzie Grants and New Outlook Supplement Grants

TelecomPioneers Charitable Foundation (TPCF) Grants Renamed Don MacKenzie Grants

TelecomPioneers Charitable Foundation (TPCF) Grants, now named the Don Mackenzie Grants, are grants for educational and/or charitable community service projects that make a significant impact in local communities and generate substantial recognition for the Pioneers. The annual Foundation grant awards are determined by the prior year’s investment earnings. The distribution allocation percentage to each group will be based on year-end membership numbers.

Pioneers takes a grassroots approach towards volunteerism, responding to the unique needs of our hometowns. Pioneers submit grant applications on behalf of the local schools/school systems and/or community service projects they support. The Foundation will fund local Pioneers educational and charitable activities, and not merely serve as a distributor of funds to unaffiliated schools/school systems or other organizations.

The strength of Pioneering is the volunteer. Pioneers projects are as diverse as the communities we serve. We take a grassroots approach towards volunteerism, responding to the unique needs of our hometowns. The Pioneers Charitable Foundation Fund (Foundation) provides grants for educational and/or charitable community service projects that make a significant impact in local communities and generate substantial recognition for the Pioneers

ChapterGrant NameRequested $ContactGrant funded New Outlook funded
131Forever Friends – Hug a Bears$500Teresa Gagnon $     500.00 $                              –  
131Holy angels St Lukes Food Pantry$350Teresa Gagnon $     350.00 $                              –  
131Masks for all$500Teresa Gagnon $     500.00 $                              –  
131Operation Platoon Mom$5,000Dudley Farquhar $  1,800.00 $                   3,200.00
132Backpacks$10,000Pat Fields $  2,144.00 $                   5,000.00
135Helping Hands$750Jerry Dunbar $     550.00 $                      200.00
135Twin Valley Hospital$800Jerry Dunbar $     600.00 $                      200.00
135Stand down$300Jerry Dunbar $     300.00 $                              –  
136Camp Rhythm$1,500Judy Herbst $  1,000.00 $                      500.00
136Comforting Crafts$2,250Judy Herbst $  1,200.00 $                   1,050.00
136Military/USO/Veterans Project$3,500Judy Herbst $  1,600.00 $                   1,900.00
136Food Pantry Project – was over looked$2,200Judy Herbst                 – $                   2,200.00
137Hospice House$700Bob Wolkins $     550.00 $                      150.00
137Care Bears of Lincoln$2,000Helen Loyd $  1,200.00 $                      800.00
137Hooks and Needles$3,500Bob Wolkins $  1,600.00 $                   1,900.00
137Hug A Bears$2,000Bob Wolkins $  1,200.00 $                      800.00
137Cozy Wraps$2,450Bob Wolkins $  1,250.00 $                   1,200.00
137Turkey Fest$1,000Bob Wolkins $     800.00 $                      200.00
Total of Grants Requested$39,300requested    
Total of Don MacKenzie Grants Funded$17,144available funding $17,144.00
Total Funded by New Outlook Region$19,300NO Funding $                 19,300.00

Submitted by New Outlook Directors Elaine Housley and Fred Salomon

Heartland Pioneers Continue Thanksgiving Dinner 2020

TurkeyFest Check Presentation

The Heartland Pioneers continued their alliance with the Salvation Army and the Thanksgiving dinner they started with them around thirty some years ago.  In the beginning the pioneer volunteers prepared the dinners at their homes and then delivered everything to the Kroc Center on the night before Thanksgiving.  The pioneer cook, Bill Sucha, then prepared the potatoes and green beans while the volunteers sliced up the turkeys and all was ready to go early on Thanksgiving morning.  The first few years 300 meals were prepared and delivered by volunteers the Salvation Army assembled.  Now the Thanksgiving dinners are delivered to 1500 families in the Omaha Metro.  Other volunteers have taken over a lot of preparation of the meal.  The Heartland Pioneers have continued to supply volunteers over the years and this year the Heartland Pioneer Council presented a check for $1000.00 on November 19, 2020 to purchase turkeys for the Thanksgiving dinner.  The Pioneers plan to continue this Thanksgiving Dinner tradition with the Salvation Army.

Bob Wolkins, president Heartland Pioneers and Debbie Grady, Project Coordinator present check to Major Adams of the Salvation Army

Submitted by Bob Wolkins and Debbie Grady

Click on Picture to View the Video

Volunteers step up for Salvation Army’s Turkeyfest in Omaha on Thanksgiving

By John Chapman
Published: Nov. 26, 2020 at 2:35 PM CST

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – This is the 29th year for the Salvation Army’s Turkeyfest, the Army delivers hundreds of meals to senior citizens in the metro area.

Because of the pandemic new event safety protocols have been put in place.

The event will look different this year, but one thing will remain the same because not even the virus can stop the spirit of giving and helping others today.

More social distancing, and fewer volunteers in the Kroc Center Kitchen this year.

“You need to help out‚ that’s just what I like to do,” said volunteer for more than 20 years Debbie Grady. “This is my town — I like to take care of it and you know everybody’s your neighbor so we need to take care of each other — especially now. It’s important to help each other out.”

This year Debbie brought her son Dan along to volunteer some of his time to help feed others.

“Giving back makes me feel good and when she asked me if I wanted to help out this year I was like yeah, definitely,” Dan Grady said.

There are hundreds of volunteers who make the Salvation Army’s Turkeyfest go.

Volunteers running an assembly line serving up thanksgiving dinner for close to 1,000 seniors this year.

“We are so very grateful for our volunteers who step up to support this event. Some of them have been doing it for 29 years and then we’re also grateful for those who financially support this effort,” said Major Adam Moore with the Salvation Army.

Outside of the Kroc Center, more volunteers were lining up to pick up meals to drop off around the city.

The pandemic may have changed the way we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, but it did not change the spirit of volunteers determined to help others.

The Salvation Army says it takes about 200 volunteers to feed close to 1,000 senior citizens this year

Heartland Pioneers Cozy Wraps Deliver Again

Carolyn reported that Bob and her delivered 33 baby blankets, 8 cocoons, 11 hats and 17 personal items (hand lotion etc.) to ODM on behalf of Heartland Pioneers Volunteers on the morning of 2 Mar 2021. Carolyn met with Kristin Dineen of Public Relations and she accepted the items in the parking lot of Open Door Mission. She opened up some of the boxes to display the items.

Carolyn and Bob then drove over to the Risen Sun Village to deliver 2 lap robes and 2 shoulder wraps. Kimberly, Administrative Assistant, accepted the items there from Carolyn.



Submitted by Carolyn Wolkins

New Outlook Pioneers Eastern Missouri Council Comfort Crafts Donations

On Friday, February 26th, our Comforting Crafts donations for January 2021 were delivered to Mercy Hospital and Missouri Baptist Medical Center.  The following items delivered were made by the following volunteers listed:

MERCY 

10- Flannel Baby Blankets (Charlotte Stevens)
  5- Flannel Blankets – Rehabilitation Dept. (Donna Sturgess)
10- Palm Toys (Paula Fox and Pat Hawkins)
10- Hug- a- Pillows (Paula Fox)
  5- Crocheted Baby Hats (Maryann Reitz)
  1- Crocheted Adult Shawl (Laura Shively)

MISSOURI BAPTIST MEDICAL CENTER

10- Flannel Baby Blankets (Annette Ravens)
  5- Flannel Blankets – Pediatric Dept. (Donna Sturgess)
10- Palm Toys ( Paula Fox and Pat Hawkins)
10- Hug- a- Pillows (Paula Fox)
  5- Crocheted Baby Hats (Maryann Reitz)
15- Mother/Baby Scent Pads (Paula Fox and Pat Hawkins)

Our deliveries continue to be made during the COVID pandemic, thanks to Sarah Funaiole at Mercy and Laura Childers at Missouri Baptist Medical Center for meeting me at the curb to collect our donations, and getting them to the various departments. Thanks also, to all the craft volunteers for their time and talent in making the crafts.

It is our pleasure to donate these items to provide, in our small way, some additional comfort to your patients.

Regards,
Paula Fox
New Outlook Pioneers
Comforting Crafts Coordinator

Submitted by Judy Herbst for Paula Fox

Hooks & Needles Pioneers Delivery


Betty Golmanavich has been a member of the Hooks & Needles group since her and Jerry transferred to the Omaha Works with the closing of the Baltimore Works in the mid eighties. Betty and a group of about 20 ladies are still making items for charities in the metro area. Last week Betty gathered up the 70 kitty blankets she had made to deliver to the Nebraska Human Society. Her husband Jerry took her there after dinner where they met Pam Wiese that accepted the kitty blankets and thanked her for the donation. Jerry was the photographer


Submitted by Jerry and Betty Golmanavich

John D. Burlie 2020 Newsletter

The first luncheon for 2021 will be in March, giving most of us enough time to get the COVID vaccine shots before attending.

I’ll try to send a notice when we’re able to restart our projects (since we will be looking for volunteers) and reminders about a week before all of our events.

Elaine A Housley, New Outlook Director, Pioneers

submitted by Director Elaine Housley

Cozy Wraps

Carolyn Wolkins has been kntting for many years and delivering her work to the Risen Son Christian Village in Council Bluffs, IA. and Lydia House at the Open Door Mission. Carolyn also has four ladies from church that knit with her and contribute to the items during the year for donation. The Risen Son Offers Assisted Living, Independent Living, Nursing Homes, Continuing Care Communities, and Memory Care. Lydia House at ODM provides emergency and transitional services for single women & families in need of assistance. Food, shelter, clothing, and other basic needs are provided.

This December Carolyn delivered a combination of handmade fleece blankets, purchased fleece blankets and hand knitted and crocheted items purchased and knitted the last coupole of months. Eleven fleece blankets were delivered to Risen Son in Council Bluffs a few days ago. She was told the blankets will used for Christmas gifts. Bob and she then delivered the pastels and prints to Lydia House along with knitted and crocheted items. Risen Son and Lydia House were both happy and appreciative. The contact at Lydia House (Open Door Mission) told her they have 75 newborns each year and 150 older kids in residence so the fleece blankets will be perfect for the older ones.

Submitted by Carolyn Wolkins

Pioneering in New Territory: Ways to Volunteer from Home

Home Projects and Break Room/Lunch Room Projects

The following projects can be done in a break room or lunch room to involve members and prospective members for a brief time frame. This could peak their interest to volunteer for another project in the future. It lets our members see Pioneers in action. You will need someone present to track participants for reporting time.

  • PROJECT‐ BOOKS AND LABELS

Pioneer Group purchases Scholastic books to be donated to local schools. Dictionaries may be used as well. Make labels to go inside stating “Donated By (your group) Pioneers”. Give the group website and provide a place for a comment and signature if desired. Ask Volunteers to place the labels in the books, sign the decal and pack the books for delivery. Volunteers may be allowed to take the books to a school of their choice if the Group chooses. Be sure all volunteer time and volunteer names are recorded including delivery time.

  • POCKET FLAGS FOR SOLDIERS

Pioneer Group purchases small American Flags to be given to deploying American Soldiers. Volunteers fold the flags then place them in a small plastic bag with a “thank you” note. After folding, flag will be small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. It can be carried in the Soldier’s chest pocket. For more information, see www.pocketflagproject.com.

  • FOOD DRIVES AND FOOD BASKETS

Pioneer Group purchase or collect food items to be distributed to Food Banks, Homeless shelters, Schools, etc. Pioneers organize similar items together on a large table. Have volunteers take an empty box or basket and go around the table placing one of each item in the container. Have Volunteers fill all the containers and load them for delivery. Ask Volunteers if they would like to participate in the delivery. Be sure all volunteer time and names are recorded including delivery time.

  • PIONEER THANK YOU KITS

Pioneer Groups print up 4×6 cards with the following: Pioneer Thank You Kit

Rubber Band                      You banded us together

Mints                                   Volunteers are worth a mint

Gum                                    Thanks for sticking with it

Toothpick                             To remind you to pick out the good in others

Pipe Cleaner                       To remind you to be flexible

Safety Pin                           To help you hold it all together

Penny                                  For good luck and prosperity

Rose Petal                          To remind you to stop and smell the roses

Foam Piece                         Thanks for being a “foam‐ible” force

Bead                                    Thanks for “beading” there

Pioneers gather all items and put them in separate bowls. As volunteers gather for a luncheon, they are given a baggie and told to place one of each item along with a card in each baggie.

Once all are seated, thank them for their participation, membership and Answering the Call of Those in Need in their communities.

  • STUFF BACKPACKS WITH SCHOOL SUPPLIES

Pioneer groups purchase or collect school supplies and backpacks. Place all like items together in groups on a large table or tables. Have volunteers take a backpack and place one item of each group in the backpack. Place completed backpack in a container for delivery. Then start with another backpack until all are filled. Ask volunteers to assist in loading the backpacks for delivery. Ask volunteers if any of them would like to assist with the delivery. Track all time and volunteer names including delivery time.

  • HEALTH KITS FOR LOCAL SHELTERS

Pioneer Group purchase or collect toiletry items for distribution to shelters. Arrange like items on a large table or tables. Separate tables should be set up for men and women. Have volunteers take a container (bag, box, or etc.) and go around the table and place one of each item in the container. Place completed container in a delivery box. Then start with another container until completed. Ask volunteers to assist with loading the completed boxes for delivery. Ask volunteers if they would like to assist with delivery to the shelters. Track all time and volunteer names, including delivery time.

  • HOMELESS MATS

Pioneer Group collects used plastic shopping bags. Volunteers work with the bags to first cut them into plastic strips and then knit them into sleeping mats. Numerous instruction videos can be located by searching the internet for “sleeping mats for the homeless”.

  • STUFFING CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS

Pioneer Group purchase or collect items to be placed in Christmas stockings as well as the stockings. Arrange like items on a large table or tables. Ask volunteers to take a stocking and

place one of each item in it. Place completed stocking in a delivery container. Start another stocking until all are completed. Ask volunteers to assist with loading the container for delivery. Ask volunteers if they would like to assist with the delivery. Track all time and volunteer names including delivery time.

  • VALENTINES FOR VETERANS

Volunteers prepare bags with items to be given to Veterans. A Valentine card is signed by the volunteer and placed in each bag. The bags are taken to the veterans hospital or other location and given to the individuals.

  1. PIONEER FOOD PANTRY PROJECT

This project is designed to help feed school age children who rely on school‐sponsored food programs for nourishing meals to get through the summer months. Volunteers are given a bag to fill along with a flyer. See attached example. Volunteers return the filled bag with requested items to the group coordinator. The coordinator arranges for delivery of the bags to the Local food bank or shelter.

Other projects‐

These are projects that might draw out participants that have special interests. A few examples are:

  1. Pioneer Playground Maps‐ Invite employees with children to help paint maps. Each volunteer works with their children.
  2. Help scouts earn badges through pioneer‐funded food donations.
  3. Nursing Home Bingo‐ Invite Pioneers to bring high school and college student s to participate and earn volunteer hours for school credit.
  4. CPR training‐can be set up thru the American Red Cross.
  5. Work with other groups (Letter Carriers Food Drive).
  6. Voter registration
  7. Partnership on projects with the CWA.
  8. Blood Drives held at work locations by working with the American Red Cross.
  9. Work with other employee groups.
  10. Set up cookie stations at work locations to say “thanks” for being a member.

Socials‐

We can’t afford to lose money holding a social but we don’t necessarily have to make money. Keep cost to a minimum.

  1. Life Members‐ Bring members together for an annual reunion. Have a very short program about projects completed and upcoming projects. Ask for volunteers. Invite partners, children and grandchildren of Pioneers to participate.
    1. Regular Members‐ Bring members together for an annual get together. Invite and plan theme around families. Short program about projects completed and upcoming projects. Ask for volunteers. Invite partners and children of pioneers to participate.

Other Thoughts‐

These are items to consider as you plan projects and activities around getting more members involved.

  1. Find out what members are interested in.
  2. Meet them where they are. You have to go to them, they won’t come to you.
  3. Remember, what you think is fun might be old and stodgy to others.
  4. Have projects on Saturdays and finish up by noon if possible.
  5. Design projects around the younger generation.
  6. Encourage Family participation.
  7. Engage upper managers when possible.
  8. Use social media to advertise events.
  9. Always say “thanks for volunteering”.

These are just a few thoughts and we’re sure you have many more ideas. The key factor is to have fun. It brings out new participants and keeps them coming back.

Thanks for all you do in Pioneering.