Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Thanks to Ginna Ericksen

Yesterday we told you about our need for Secret Pals. Today we’re going to introduce to you a dedicated volunteer behind the scenes, Ginna Ericksen. Ginna is our primary coordinator for the Secret Pals program.

Ginna began working with HSP as a Girl Scout Leader. Years earlier she had read a newspaper article about HSP and its founder, Karole Kettering, and when she was looking for organizations for her Troop to work with she remembered HSP and contacted Karole. The rest is history!

Ginna’s Girl Scout Troop did a lot of work with HSP so in 2007 when her son, Nick, needed to do an internship she naturally thought of HSP. While Nick was interning he had to make phone calls to find volunteer drivers for the monthly senior delivery, and he called his mom. She agreed, and during the delivery she learned about the Secret Pals program. Ginna, along with her daughter Emily, who was 11 at the time, decided to become Secret Pals and have been enjoying their duties together ever since.

After becoming a Secret Pal Ginna decided to do a little more by coming in and helping to sort and ready the gifts for delivery. Last spring she became the primary coordinator for the Secret Pal program. You can often find her in the little glass Secret Pal room, either sorting gifts or plugging away with wishlists and requests.

If you’re wondering what it takes to coordinate the Secret Pals program, it all starts when someone asks to become a Secret Pal. Ginna matches Secret Pals with the seniors who don’t already have one. She maintains wishlists for the seniors and gives each Secret Pal either a wishlist from the senior, or a list of general ideas. Each month when the gifts come in, Ginna organizes them on the shelves in the Secret Pal room and gets them ready for delivery day. If a senior doesn’t have a Secret Pal or a Secret Pal misses a month, Ginna makes every effort to ensure each senior gets something from the stockpile of small gifts or toiletries that HSP keeps.

In addition to involving Nick and Emily, Ginna’s daughter, Melissa, also did an internship with HSP last summer. Volunteering with HSP has really become a family activity for Ginna and her children!
For all that Ginna, Nick, Melissa, and Emily do, we show our gratitude with a great big THANK YOU!!!

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this great and informative post. I am a secret pal provider from Massachusetts. It was really nice to be able to see the process and "meet" Ginna. I wondered how everything was organized and distributed. Thanks for making this all happen. Happy New Year.