OUR VOLUNTEER WORK WEEK WAS A SUCCESS!!
We are so thankful and appreciative to all the people who helped to make our volunteer week a success. We accomplished so much – made new friends, improved and updated many areas of The Mandala Center, and learned a lot! I know that I cannot begin to include all the wonderful moments we shared during the week here on this blog nor even communicate the amount of effort, dedication, and talent but this is our tribute to the week.
First I want to list the people who did contribute – in one way or another to our success.
(If I missed anyone in this first attempt we WILL correct it and apologize because we do appreciate everyone!)
- Kristy Sweetland (NM) is our regular weekly volunteer who put up our facebook account, helped with our newsletter and assists in the office. She joined the work week to help with the decks, stain the teak table an chairs on the patio and more!
- Peggy Minich (NM) helped with sanding/staining decks, weeding, office work and more!
- Joe Ress (from Ohio!) helped with sanding/staining decks, fixing wallpaper, cleaning light fixtures & more!
- Faye Good (Ok) painted the whole interior of the Artist Nook and the Wolf Lodge doors and more!
- Dawn Mondragon (NM) helped with the decks, stripped and refinished our wooden doors on the Casa Mandala, washed down siding and cleaned the gutters at the Artist Nook and more!
- George Whitman (NM) came with his saws and helped trim LOTS of trees and removed trees helping with landscaping as well as fire prevention. George did not get enough on the work week so he came back for more to help Lori finish putting in the stone path down to the labyrinth a few days later.
- Alex Rykken (NM) helped with the deck work, the labyrinth, and more!
- Katie Green (CO) helped with the decks – sanding and staining along side her dad Nathan Green – our grounds and maintenance person.
- Phillip Freeman (NM) (who stained our decks the last time on his own!) came again to help us with the decks. He also helped with tree trimming and removal and more!
- Jack Ingamells (NM) (husband to our operations manager – Monica) helped in a lot of our preparations for the decks and painting – measuring areas for the needed stains, paint, and supplies, traveling to purchase supplies and compile tools, driving out tools to the center when we needed them and more!!
- Ken and Dina Parsons (NM) came to help assess what we could do to help put in a path down to the labyrinth. Ken helped transport several buckets of gravel and the pavers to the location we needed them.
- Joesph Wolf (NM) came with his weed-whacker to help clear paths and reduce fire risk. He returned then with his truck and assisted with the removal of the tree trimmings and brush.
- Our staff also assisted.
- Monica Ingamells put in a LOT of time and effort helping to organize the event, purchase all our supplies, and organize meals and lodging for guests. She also helped with the decks and other tasks during the work week – her efforts helped with the organization of the event to make it a success.
- Marsha Stepleton, our lead chef, planned and prepared meals for the guests for the week.. No one goes hungry here!
- Sasha Jensen assisted as well with some meal preparation during the week.
- Denise Atwater, our lead housekeeper, prepared the rooms ahead of time and then helped with the decks, kitchen clean up and she brought her truck and helped with tree trimmings removal.
- Nathan Green came to help with the decks by running the big floor sander, overseeing the project and staining the larger areas of the deck.
- Lori Coon worked primarily with George on the tree trimming and removal. She trimmed (and removed some trees) around the entire Casa Mandala and in front of the Deer Lodge and Wolf Lodge. She also helped put in the pavers for a new pathway down to the labyrinth.
In total, we clocked (conservatively) approximately 280 volunteer hours and including staff hours – 550 hours – in 7 days!
(This is a first guestimate while we finish compiling everything and does not include all the preparations prior to the work week.) WOW! Everyone can be proud of what we got accomplished!!
We still have a “list” of things we did not get done and some people were already talking about our Second Annual Volunteer Work Week next year – so it may become a regular event!!
SEE MORE PHOTOS on our Volunteer Week Photo Page
in the right bar here on the blog!!
Volunteer Work Week TESTIMONIAL by Joe Ress
It was “Fun in the Sun” at the Mandala Center this summer!!
It was our first ever “Volunteer Work Week!” – June 30-July 7th, 2010. The volunteers hold The Mandala Center in a special place in their hearts and gave of their time, talent, and energy to help with some “sprucing up” around the place. The beauty of the Center, it’s ambiance, the desert scenery, and the hospitality of the staff are the big things that draw people to this place (not to mention the food too!!) Just being here for these things makes me feel renewed, rested, and rejuvenated. It did not matter what job we were given to do. Just being here was a gift. This feels like my home away from home (which is in Ohio.)
We had quite a lot of fun. We teased each other and enjoyed the “afternoon siesta”- time to read, relax or nap (I was usually napping!) while escaping the hot afternoon New Mexico sunshine. We had the 4th of July off and headed out for some sight-seeing.
I hope this becomes an annual event. Many other volunteers agreed and look forward to returning to The Mandala Center again.