More than once, Joan has been described as a priceless volunteer for the lengths she goes to for the residents at Pines of Sarasota. Over the last 20 years, Joan Reinebach has given of her time, & resources, but most importantly, she has given abundantly of herself.
Like many people nearing retirement, Joan and her husband longed for sunnier days instead of dreaded snowy winters. Originally from Chicago, the Reinebachs packed their bags and moved to sunny Sarasota 20 years ago. Joan built her career in Chicago as a flight attendant for major airlines. “My husband would call me an ‘air goddess’,” she told me as we chatted in my office one rainy afternoon.
“I was looking for something to do that wouldn’t be like a job,” she said when I asked her how Pines crossed her path. “I wanted something flexible, but somewhere I could really be useful too.” By chance, one of Joan’s new Sarasota neighbors also volunteered at the Pines. What started off, 20 years ago, as something to do has become a legacy of service to the people that live here.
On any given day, visitors can find Joan leading sing-a-longs, or craft time. “I’m pretty crafty,” she told me, “so it makes sense that I would help the residents with that.” During 2020, when our facility was closed to visitors, Joan would be found daily transporting residents to the other side of our campus to see loved ones in our drive-thru visitation. “It gave me a lot of exercise,” she told me with a laugh.
Over the years, Joan has volunteered at the Westcoast Black Theater Troupe, worked election polls, & has even become a Master Gardner. Her green thumb can be seen all around the Pines of Sarasota campus. Through the years, Joan has pioneered resident gardening programs such as Pot-a-Plant, & Fairy Gardens. Beyond Pines’ campus, she began the “Pizza Garden” program teaching children to plant and grow herbs and vegetables for an authentic farm-to-table pizza.
Lately, Joan’s handy work has been on display through the 2 massive planters located at the entrance to Pines’ administrative building. She, along with some high school volunteers, planted and continues to upkeep those pots, so every visitor coming to our campus can see how beautiful this place really is. She has even adorned the pots with holiday themed decorations, like the Valentine hearts that are displayed now.
“Priceless” is the right word to use when describing Joan, or any of the volunteers that sacrifice their time and resources for the Pines of Sarasota. Her longevity and dedication to this campus does not go unseen, and we are forever grateful for the joy she continues to spread at Pines.