Meet the Kordiaks
Meet the Kordiak’s - a dynamic CEC volunteer couple
Catholic Eldercare volunteers enhance the lives of our residents. From serving coffee and keeping the gift shop open to making the wheels on the bus go round and round, they are highly valued and greatly appreciated. We would like to introduce you to three of our treasured volunteers.
Patti and Bob Kordiak are loving retirement, especially because it means they have the time to volunteer at Catholic Eldercare. Patti’s mom and Bob’s aunt both lived at River Village, inspiring the couple to volunteer. To this day, after 26-years of marriage, love keeps bringing them back.
Patti Kordiak likes being a shopkeeper
When the gift shop in the Alfred Hofstede Care Center is open, Patti Kordiak likes the natural interactions that occur in this position. “I love meeting residents, their families, and the caregivers,” she says. “From a sparkly bracelet to a lovely scarf, it’s fun to see people light up when they find something they like.” Patti is especially touched when a caregiver picks up something special for one of the residents, such as nail polish or lipstick. Often when she arrives, people are waiting for the gift shop to open. She finds the work rewarding, and now that she’s retired, she no longer must squeeze her volunteer time in on the weekend. "Seniors are delightful and precious people, and it’s a great way to get to know them.”
Patti has been volunteering on and off at CEC since 2018. In addition to the gift shop, she put her professional administrative assistant experience to work in the office at River Village. “I knew all of the equipment, so could jump in and help,” she says. Patti has also volunteered to escort residents to Mass. "I am always happy to get to know people in the building, including the caregivers and other staff.”
Patti learned about the value of volunteering while working at Dayton’s, a company she says fostered the volunteer spirit. “I started volunteering at Dayton’s because that was their culture, and often felt like I got more out of it than I put into it."
Patti feels the volunteer program at CEC is also strong. “Expectations are clear, staff is responsive to questions, and volunteers are appreciated here,” she says. CEC has built a great program, so I’m a big advocate for volunteering here.”
Bob Kordiak likes being a bartender and beautician
After 36-years of employment at Dayton’s, where he was also a United Way allocations volunteer, Bob Kordiak found joy in the coffee shop at River Village. An ad in the Star Tribune led him there to a role he describes as a combination of a bartender and a beautician. “I have my ‘regulars’ and I’m here to listen to their stories and interact. Residents have grown to depend on me. They want me to be there on certain days and if I come on a different day, they want to know, so they can come down.”
Bob’s been serving up warm cups of java for seven years. In the early days, he was also able to enjoy lunch with his aunt who lived in the building. “I have an affection for Northeast,” he says, "My father’s family is from there. I never explored it as a youth, but it holds a place in my heart now, meeting people who know my cousins.”
Volunteering is important to Bob, and he is quick to identify the need for more. “We lost volunteers during Covid, so there’s a shortage. If you’re retired, and you’re bored, come join us!” Bob knows what it’s like to be a first-time volunteer, and the uncertainty that comes with it, but he encourages people to take the first step; start small and build on hours. “You’ll find out that it’s fun, and this is a well-run volunteer program, so it’s low stress, and at this point in
my life, I like that.”