A Standing Ovation to Donna Mayer Volunteer Extraordinaire

On August 30th we honored Donna Mayer- the face of The Selfhelp Home Gift Shop, a role she enjoyed for the last seven years.  An Avid traveler and “networker”, Donna finds treasures wherever she goes and loves fining things that people are happy to buy. “I love the people here, Donna Mayer says, and I respect what many residents have gone through in their lives.” When Donna is around, a crowd gathers, chatting, laughing, trying on scarves and trinkets, exchanging the news of the day. Donna’s dedication to the Selfhelp community is worthy of a Standing Ovation.

View the Gallery of Photos from the Event

Remarks from Austin Hirsch, Board President at the event on August 17.

Donna has created and made our Gift Shop a social opportunity for our Residents and their families to engage.  Beth and I have had the pleasure of purchasing special little gifts and having Donna makes these positive experiences.  On a personal note, my Father of blessed memory, owned a retail store and, the many lessons that he taught me about customer service is exactly the way Donna relates to those Residents and Family Members browsing or purchasing at the Gift Shop.

Donna’s devotion to The Selfhelp Home is a thing of beauty. Many years ago, before she ran the gift shop, she would run errands for the residents, running back and forth to get them the things they needed. She got to know to know a lot of people that way and she was very interested in the stories of the residents. About seven or eight years ago, Donna started running the gift shop. Items came from around the world—Donna would pick them up in her travels with Selfhelp residents and families in mind, and bring them back to Chicago to sell at Selfhelp— lovely things at good prices! Donna also has a wide network of friends and acquaintances in the fashion business who are all too happy to donate some really great items that make our gift shop unique. And, of course, there are the personal family ties, family members who have lived here, including Donna’s husband’s sister, Marion.      

Watching Donna interact with residents reveals just how special she is to them and they to her. Our community gravitates to Donna and when she is present, the Gift Shop is the hub of activity.  

We at Selfhelp know that Donna is very special, and many people came here tonight to celebrate Donna. Thank you all for the donations you have made in her honor. Thank you for your phone calls and emails telling us how deserving Donna is of this recognition. Donna has many very good friends.

In addition to being a savvy shopper, Donna is a master baker. She is devoted to her husband Larry, with whom she shares a love of life and travel. Indeed, Larry is a fortunate person.  Also, Donna’s humanitarian spirit reveals itself in her work with low-income girls can go to their proms in style.  

Thank you, Donna, for all you do to make our home special and to make our Selfhelp Home special and to make the world a better place. You are a friend and part of the fabric of Selfhelp.  If you and Larry could please come up; we have a gift of appreciation.