Lori Morris and her father, Jack Freeland, have been members of our VNA volunteer family for over 14 years. Their story began in 1999 when Jack’s wife and Lori’s mom, Joann, worked at the Adult Day Center. She enlisted the family to help organize the Liberty Corner 4-Miler fundraising run. Following Joann’s passing in 2002, Jack became a Rummage Sale volunteer as a small measure of thanks for the care she received from the VNA during her illness. Lori and Jack remain committed volunteers and donors. We spoke with Lori about their experiences:
When did you and your dad first get involved with the VNA?
I believe it was in 1999, when my mom, who was working for the VNA and the Adult Day Center (ADC),) suggested we organize a running race to raise money for the ADC. She knew this would appeal to me because of my racing background. We worked closely with Cynthia Wynant and Ryan Grote on the first annual run committee. Mom and Dad were on the committee with me. Both the race and the committee grew over the years, even after Mom passed in 2002.
You and your dad support the agency in many ways. What are some of those efforts?
Together, we’ve worked on the run committee. Even though the race was suspended in 2012 -2013, we hope to reinvent the 4 Miler in spring 2014. It is a great way to honor my mom’s commitment to the VNA and the wonderful people who work there. This past year my husband and I supported the VNA by playing in the golf outing with friends. We hope to make the outing an annual tradition. I support the Rummage Sale by making “abundant” donations every year…and since I live in Far Hills I try to be an ambassador in town for the VNA. I also love to visit the Sports tent with my children, where my dad is the “Crew Chief”. We have fun visiting with the volunteers and helping to price the gear.
Has your involvement with the VNA had a positive impact on your family?
My dad and I are very close, so any chance to do something together is fun. We both have a strong bond to the VNA because of my mom. I loved when she worked there, because I knew it made her happy and that she was surrounded by good people….Our continued commitment to the VNA helps us to heal from losing my mom.
Based on your experiences, what would you tell someone who is thinking about volunteering or donating to the VNA?
Do it!! The VNA is a good organization and is filled with wonderful people. The work they do cannot be done by others as well, if at all. I see the volunteers at the Rummage Sale…They are having fun, keeping active and doing good. It doesn’t get any better than that!
What do you wish other people knew about the VNA?
I wish they knew the people….I think many are not aware that they may need the VNA or could use some of your services. Many people do not research this type of care until they need it. Then it is difficult to know where to start!
If you are interested in learning about volunteer opportunities, contact Angela Whitt, Coordinator of Volunteers, at 908-766-0180 ext. 115, or firstname.lastname@example.org.