COVID-19 inspires staff member at OLGC

Sondra Arntzen

Sondra Arntzen is the Life Enrichment Manager at Our Lady of Good Counsel (OLGC), Mankato, Minnesota. She has worked with the School Sisters of Notre Dame (SSND) for 16 years. When Sondra started at SSND, she worked in environmental services for five years before switching to her current position.

Right now, her day consists of one-to-one activities with the sisters in Notre Dame Hall, as well as completing a lot of research looking for different activities she feels the sisters would enjoy. She also tries to plan activities that can be viewed over the closed circuit T.V. for the whole house. “We have some very talented and awesome employees here that were willing to perform for the sisters showing off their singing and guitar playing talents,” said Sondra. “We have also played Bingo over the closed circuit as well.”

One of Sondra’s personal goals is to simply “be happy.” Spending time with her family and friends, while doing the things that she enjoys doing, such as baking, sewing and crafting. During this difficult time with the pandemic, she feels it’s important to provide ideas and ways to make the sisters smile and be happy, as she is a firm believer in keeping a sense of normalcy even if it’s a new normal.

Sondra’s job has changed considerably during this time with more of a focus on one-to-one interaction. She is slowly starting to do more with small groups and Sondra is trying to find a way to do some of OLGC’s old favorites such as Bunco. The sisters sit one per table and each will have their own set of dice to play with, but only one game will be played at a time rather than four games at once, like they used to play. Sondra believes that crossword puzzles and trivia can be played the same, but with fewer sisters playing. For Sondra, trying to come up with new ideas and thinking outside the box is what motivates her and keeps her busy. Keeping the sisters happy is another good motivator.

Sondra’s favorite part of working with SSND is the daily appreciation, “I don’t think there has been too many days that I have not heard ‘thanks for all you do,’ or similar words and that’s a great feeling! I also love the fact that family is so very important and if I have ever needed anything, the administration has been very accommodating and for that, I am very appreciative.”

“I would like to thank all of our administration and department heads for all their hard work and dedication during this pandemic and always,” said Sondra. “They have been very proactive in keeping OLGC COVID free! Keep on praying that it stays away, pray that a vaccine is found soon and pray for all the lives that have been lost.”

 
 

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