Suzanne Jeffery is a St. Louis native who took an interest in crafting from an early age as she was influenced by her mother’s creativity when it came to making small, fun crafts. Suzanne has developed her skills and nurtured a passion for using her gift to serve others in the community through volunteering for the Visiting Nurse Association of Greater St. Louis (VNA).
Suzanne first got involved with VNA after responding to a notice on a volunteer website saying that VNA was looking for volunteers for their crafting committee. She got connected with Sue Risch, Volunteer Coordinator for VNA, and started knitting lap warmers for patients who were wheelchair-bound.
Since then, the range of Suzanne’s projects has increased significantly as she’s crafted everything from walker bags to clothes protectors to notebook pads to masks. “I just make whatever VNA needs that I’m able to make,” says Suzanne.
Her favorite crafts are the ones she is able to make for the holidays. “I usually try to come up with something different for the holidays for patients,” says Suzanne. Although she likes all holidays, she especially likes to do something nice for patients around Christmas and Easter. She also makes a point of honoring veterans through red, white and blue-themed crafts she makes for relevant observances.
What attracted Suzanne to VNA was the level of care with which they cared for their hospice patients. “[VNA] just seems so dedicated to their patients, and it seems like they take such good care of them. That’s why I’m drawn to VNA. They do so much for their patients at the end of their life.”
When asked why people should use their talents to help others, Suzanne responded that “It brings a sense of satisfaction to make something out of nothing to make other people feel good.” She’s proud of the joy she is able to bring people, especially the VNA patients. “Crafting gives me a way to give them and their families a little bit of relief.”
Suzanne says joy is her main concern when it comes to what she wants to instill in those she serves. She wants patients to know that someone is thinking of them, and one way VNA helps support this is by printing tags that let patients know the crafts were made especially for them by VNA volunteers. “The patients really appreciate that a volunteer has thought of them, and that reflects back on me because it makes me feel good that they appreciate what I’ve done and feel good too. It is a two-way street.”
For more information on how you can volunteer for VNA, contact us on our volunteer page, and we’ll be in touch.