Have you ever been drawn to something or some place with an unexplainable passion and desire to help? I have! Sure, there have been other things that have come along, but the passion was never there to hold my attention. Oakwood Creative Care was that place for me.

I can’t name a time when I stepped into one of the magical Oakwood Creative Care campuses or events where I didn’t feel pure joy. Not just happiness, but pure joy. Oakwood Creative Care takes a different approach to adult care. They treat their members like family, and when you are there, that’s how you feel, right at home. Volunteering at Oakwood Creative Care is such a blessing for me and I look forward to the time when I can spend more of my days with the members and staff.

My favorite memory spending time with the Oakwood Members was during a drum circle session. The Members, Volunteers, Staff and Drum leaders all sit in a circle with drums between their knees and follow the drum leader as he creates different rhythmic patterns. Smiles were everywhere and the energy in the room was intense for all but one member, my friend Helen. She wanted so badly to hate everything. She plugged her ears to show it was too loud, she patted the drum when it wasn’t time to pat, and she would fold her arms in protest. But beneath all of those actions, you could tell she was loving every minute of it. From her slight smiles after she would pat the drum to her loving reaction to the volunteers egging her on to continue on beat. She was enjoying herself despite how much she didn’t want to show it. My smile lasted the rest of the day thinking about Helen and the rest of my friends I was blessed to hang out with that morning.

I have also been honored to volunteer as an Oakwood Auxiliary Angel. This small but mighty group helps Oakwood Creative Care in their fundraising efforts and organization awareness. Our primary focus is Oakwood Dignifies, which is our annual fundraiser to support Oakwood Creative Care. We help request and collect raffle and auction items for the event and the day of we help sell raffle tickets with our angel wings on. We are always looking for new Angels to add to our tribe and would love to show you why Oakwood Creative Care is special to each of us. Join us for a tour of the campuses, for an Angels meeting, or at Oakwood Dignifies. Call me to get more information so I can continue to gush about Oakwood and how it’s changed my life.

Shannon Heinze
Oakwood Creative Care Volunteer