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Seniors Giving Back – New volunteer brings her passion for nursing to role

Written by Bruce Lindner. Posted in Featured, Senior Living

Published on February 21, 2018 with No Comments

Alexis Brandt is a new volunteer with the Energy Assistance Program.

We are fortunate to have the support of our community members who continue to offer their time and expertise to our agency and its programs.

We recently welcomed a new volunteer to the Energy Assistance Program: Alexis Brandt, who spent more than 40 years in the nursing profession.

She brings her experience as a nurse and strong communication skills to her role as a volunteer for the program, which helps low-income people with their energy bills. When participants qualify, they receive an amount based on the number of people living in the household. That payment is electronically paid to the appropriate energy company.

“We work as a clearinghouse to see if someone qualifies for energy assistance working from a list of requirements,” she says. “We want them to come in with all of the paperwork needed so it’s a very smooth process.”

Alexis volunteers at the PCACS offices one day a week.

“My background helps me have the ability to talk to people and depending on the information we need, how to get there and do it very politely when we miss the mark,” she says.

Alexis knew she wanted to be a nurse at the young age of three.

“It is a passion. For me nursing is a wonderful profession and I find it fascinating,” she says.

She worked for 42 years at the local hospital and is board-certified in medical-surgery nursing. She spent seven years in the medical arena, seven years on a surgical unit and the rest of her career in education.

“I was the lead nurse planner for continuing education. I had to prove why we were offering an educational program: what was the deficit and the goal or outcome of the educational activity for the nurses attending the program,” she says.

She is still active in the nursing world through her participation in the Chicago Area of Nursing Staff Development. The organization offers the opportunity to socialize and focuses on current issues in healthcare and continuing education.

“I received a scholarship last year to attend the national conference in New Orleans and brought back copious notes, so I could share the information with the group,” she says.

Beyond volunteering at PCACS, she also offers her time as an assisting minister at Faith Lutheran Church and spends time with her family: husband Dave and daughter Annaliese.

“I have always believed in giving back to the community. When my daughter was in school, I volunteered at the school, whether that was in the classroom or as a Girl Scout leader,” she says. “As a society, we have to give back.”

One of Alexis’ favorite quotes is: “There are few things more pathetic than those who have lost their curiosity and sense of adventure, and no longer care to learn.” – Gordon B. Hinckley

Volunteer recognition – The United Way of Porter County and The Times of Northwest Indiana are seeking nominations for the second annual Spirit Awards.

These awards honor “individuals who have displayed extraordinary service above self and served as an inspiration to others.” Nominations will be accepted from all Northwest Indiana counties. To nominate an individual, visit  www.nwi.com/uwpcspiritawards.

Those nominating will be asked to detail how this person shows passion, courage or self-sacrifice through extraordinary service to the community.

Winners will be honored Thursday, March 22 at The Spa in Porter.

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About Bruce Lindner

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All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle.  Bruce Lindner has worked in the not-for-profit world for more than 25 years and has been executive director of Porter County Aging and Community Services for five. A native of the Region, he was raised in Portage and he graduated from Valparaiso University. You can call him at 219-464-9736 or e-mail at bhlindner@frontier.com.

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