SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – For years of hard work, an employee with the Good Samaritan Society is being recognized as a ‘Guardian Angel.’ While she’s close to retiring, they wanted her hard work not to go unnoticed.
Chong Buckhaus works at the Good Samaritan Society’s Prairie Creek Lodge. She spends every morning serving up fresh coffee and fresh smiles for the residents.
“Every morning I come: big smiles, we joke, and we always laugh,” Buckhaus said.
“She just really is the Energizer Bunny and goes and goes and makes sure everybody has what they want and are happy,” O’Neill said.
Some residents like Jane Murray would go as far as to say she’s like a ‘Guardian Angel.’
“She’s so reliable, and friendly, and nice, and fun… I enjoy her,” Murray said.
She’s been working the past 4 years and in that time they’ve grown close.
“They are wonderful people; they’ve loved me, and I love them… just like my family,” Buckhaus said.
And that family gave back: Buckhaus was surprised one morning when she was named the very first Sioux Falls Guardian Angel.
She was nominated by Murray for the award. Senior Living Administrator Alecia O’Neill employees who receive this get a guardian angel pin and certificate. The nominator also makes a monetary donation in their honor to the facility.
“It’s definitely a position where you give a lot of yourself, and your heart, and emotions, and so it’s wonderful that there is an opportunity for people to say, ‘thank you,'” O’Neill said.
While she’s grateful to be recognized, Buckhaus says that nothing fills her up more than being surrounded by her extended family.
“It’s not just for money working at a place like this… you have to have a special heart,” Buckhaus said.
Buckhaus officially retires on June 17.