Keeping up with nearly 300 Mercer volunteers can be difficult for even the most meticulous person. For Mercer volunteer and retired librarian Anne Strommer, it’s second nature. As a librarian, Strommer organized hundreds of thousands of books over her career before becoming a Mercer volunteer 20 years ago.
“My husband started volunteering in the gardens. After a couple weeks, I asked if they could use a librarian.” Strommer worked in Mercer’s research library for years until it was moved to Mercer's new research facility. "The library is organized and orderly, thanks to what she started years ago," said Volunteer Coordinator Jamie Hartwell. Eventually, she was recruited to keep up with volunteer hours.
“Nellene Harvey was the volunteer coordinator at the time. She saw how methodical I was, so she assigned me to keep up with volunteer hours in the volunteer system,” Strommer explained. According to Hartwell, keeping accurate volunteer hours can result in grant money for employees at some large companies. “We lovingly call her the ‘hours police’ because she goes around making sure everyone who signs in also signs out,” said Hartwell. “She notices everything. She’s even corrected some of my mistakes.”
In addition to working regular volunteer hours, Strommer volunteers at March Mart and other annual events. Last year, Strommer accumulated more than 500 volunteer hours. She also adds a Golden Trowel Award to her list of accomplishments, which is given to volunteers who go above and beyond. One of the most challenging aspects of her position is keeping up with hundreds of Mercer’s regular volunteers as well as organizations, including local high schools, civic clubs, and companies such as ExxonMobil.
“It’s very important to keep up with the volunteer hours, so everyone will get the recognition they deserve at the volunteer awards luncheon,” said Strommer. According to Hartwell, recruiting a broad volunteer base is a priority at Mercer. “It takes a team,” said Hartwell. “Whether you have a green thumb or not, Mercer has a job for you. We ask volunteers what they like doing, and then try to match them with their interests. We want them to enjoy being part of the Mercer family.”
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