If you don’t know Karen Schorno’s name, chances are, you know her cookies. Karen, who has been volunteering at Rendezvous for 12 years, has become one of the community’s most popular volunteers thanks to the love she shares with residents over sports, quilting and Trader Joe’s cookies.
“If they don’t remember my name, I’m the one who brings the butter almond thins,” said Karen.
Karen’s connection to the community came through a chance meeting with the gift shop’s former manager at a Bible study group, but her job at Rendezvous wasn’t exactly handed to her.
“I had to try out first,” said Karen. “I had an audition as a substitute and then they decided I could do it.”
Karen’s official responsibilities at the community include serving coffee and tea while overseeing the gift shop, however, she sees her duties a little differently.
“I’m just a friendly chatter right now,” said Karen. “I like to talk, so it works out really well.”
While Karen may like to talk, she also likes to listen, and she has found that listening to the stories of residents to be both highly rewarding and enriching.
“They’re the most interesting people,” said Karen. “They’ve lived lots of places and are still enjoying life—which is a wonderful thing.”
Apparently, that interest goes both ways.
“They are always interested in whatever I’ve been doing,” said Karen. “They like to hear about my adventures and they like show and tell.”
Karen’s experiences with the residents of the community has helped her identify something she thinks is lacking in our modern culture—something that would help broaden the horizons of everyone involved.
“I think sometimes we get in groups we’re most comfortable with, but sometimes you need to go out and meet a few other people,” said Karen.
As far as getting out and meeting new people herself, Karen feels the residents she has gotten to know over the years have spoiled it for her.
“They set the bar pretty high,” said Karen.
PHOTOS: The Rendezvous Room is a lively place to catch up with friends, make new ones and hear fun stories. In the photo on the left, pictured from left are Faye Young, Ken Lohentz, Marge Smith, Effie Simmons and Delma Jensen. In the photo on the right, Delma Jensen, volunteer and resident, serves Beth Brown a refreshing drink while working in the Rendezvous.