Congratulations, Mary Ann! Read our original winning nomination below:
“We are very proud that Cooperative has been in business for over 34 years. Our achievements include hundreds of humbling opportunities to help people stay in their own homes, and live life on their terms. It is humbling to us because it is both hard work and a privilege to be able to help others.
There have been sad endings, too. Sometimes no matter how hard our client tries and we try, they don’t recover enough to remain in their home. Sometimes it is simply their time to pass.
Cooperative Home Care’s MAHC Volunteer of the Year nominee is a combined story of sadness, humility, and hope.
Mary Ann Kohut has been our client several times. She is one tough cookie. At 75, Mary Ann survived a devastating broken neck injury. After a lengthy hospitalization, rehabilitation, and home care help, Mary Ann resumed her independent life at home with her husband, Baylor.
Several years later, Baylor received home health services from Cooperative after a hospitalization. He regained his strength, and his ability to walk independently. He was again living his best life, in his home with Mary Ann, when he peacefully passed in his sleep. This happened shortly after his 80th birthday, and a few months’ shy of his 51st wedding anniversary with Mary Ann. She was devastated.
On top of her grief, Mary Ann was diagnosed with a painful and debilitating bone disorder. After months of waiting, she underwent hip surgery. Cooperative was able to help her heal physically while she struggled to heal emotionally without her husband. Fast forwarding to today, Mary Ann occasionally uses a walker and often smiles as she shares Baylor memories with her friends and family. But how do we know how she’s doing?
Mary Ann contacted Cooperative in April to tell us that she had heard about how hard it was to secure the Personal Protective Equipment we would need to serve our clients safely. She said, “About how many masks would you need so that every caregiver could have one?”
We said, “Over two hundred”.
Mary Ann’s eyes got really big, but she nodded her head and said, “Okay, I’m going to do that.”
Then, she did. Mary Ann sewed over 200 masks for Cooperative’s employees, delivering them in June. While Cooperative now has the PPE we need, her masks are everyone’s favorite. Each is carefully cut, ironed, and sewn using a range of patterns including cartoon characters and sports teams. Our new employees love choosing one of her masks at the end of orientation, and our longstanding employees treasure their “Mary Ann masks” as well.
We are so thankful for her volunteerism. As our 2020 MAHC Volunteer of the Year nominee, Mary Ann’s story is our best humbling reminder to endure, to never lose hope, and to keep going.”
Mitch Waks, CEO & Owner