National Volunteer Week: Shirley Long’s Three Decades of Volunteering

WK Popcorn Blog

It’s National Volunteer Week! And our four campuses have hundreds of awesome, caring people volunteer each year. Our volunteers come from all over and they help us in all kinds of ways. Without them – we would not be such a vibrant, energized place!

We’d like to highlight perhaps our longest serving volunteer during this special week.

Shirley Long is known as the “Popcorn Lady” around here. She’s been popping popcorn for residents, families and staff members for more than 30 years.

From our humble beginnings when we took over the former Northview Nursing Home, she’s been there popping with a popcorn maker. She started with a simple air popper and has since graduated to a commercial popper and multiple flavors.

Her Monday popcorn days are a real hit at the Waukesha campus.

While she’s known as the “popcorn lady,” she does so much more.

“Most people believe she works here because she is here so often,” said Stephanie Stancl, who heads the activities department at LindenGrove Waukesha. “She’s always correcting them that she’s a volunteer.”

On average, she volunteers 30 hours per month at LindenGrove and can be seen helping with bingo, assisting with parties and special outings and just spending time conversing with residents and families.

“If I could describe her in one word – the word would be Angel,” said Stancl. “She is such a vital and essential part of our team. Shirley is truly a member of our family, and an icon here at LindenGrove.”

Who would have thought a chance encounter with a classmate would result in three decades of volunteer service? That’s exactly what happened in Shirley’s case.

After moving to the Milwaukee area from Southwestern Wisconsin, Shirley was looking for ways to get acclimated with a region she had little connection to. She linked up with a classmate of hers living in Waukesha who was serving popcorn at the county home. Shirley decided to join her and the rest was history.

“I really enjoy being around the residents. They are always so joyful,” Shirley said of her 30 years volunteering. “I have so many friends here. This is just such a nice place, with wonderful care.”

Shirley is just one of hundreds of volunteers who walk our hallways every year. To all the individuals, families, school groups, church groups, Girl Scout troops, civic groups and other volunteer groups – Thank You for making LindenGrove the unique place it is!

Interested in being a volunteer at LindenGrove? Check out our volunteer page!

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