Cassia’s Regent at Burnsville Volunteer Marie Christianson was honored two weeks ago by LeadingAge Minnesota with the Volunteer of the Year Award in the Twin Cities metropolitan area (District G). The award honors a volunteer who demonstrates exceptional commitment to older adults through activities that enrich the quality of their lives.
“Marie Christianson has a unique way of making everyone feel valued and important,” says Regent at Burnsville Executive Director Vicki Tobroxen. She began volunteering in 2008 and “with each passing year, she continues to give more of herself.”
Volunteering is Her Calling
What residents remember most about Christianson is her dedication to residents and families. When visiting residents, she makes it her business to learn about their health concerns and support them, reading Scriptures, listening and praying.
She has stopped by during many residents’ final days to share with families how their loved ones made a positive impact on her life. This is just one of the activities Christianson is known for. She sees volunteering not as a hobby—but as a calling, Tobroxen says.
Creativity, Crafts and Festivals
Christianson is known for sharing her creativity in monthly arts and crafts sessions, and helps staff with many large events such as the Holiday Tree Festival. Her handcrafted angels, made for the festival’s angel tree, are always a favorite with residents and families. Christianson is often accompanied by her husband and children, who share her love for residents at Regent at Burnsville.
The recent award ceremony naming Christianson was at the LeadingAge Minnesota Institute, the state’s largest and most comprehensive aging services conference. Professionals in all aspects of older adult services attend the annual three-day event to learn about new and innovative programs, share best practices and network with their peers.