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Cultivating Kindness Through Compassion: Chaplain Guta Cvetkovic

Chaplain Guta Cvetkovic came to Capitol Lakes in 2004 and over the last 19 years has made a tremendous impact in the lives of our residents, their families, and the staff that work across our entire continuum of care.

As the sole chaplain of the Capitol Lakes community which recognizes and respects all faiths, Guta regularly visits and checks in with residents and their families in their times of need offering comfort to the sick and bereaved. He hosts quarterly Services of Remembrance so that neighbors, friends, and staff members can gather together to share memories and find strength as a community through times of loss.

Guta’s concern for all those who live here has prompted him to step up in many other ways as well. He became certified as a yoga instructor and teaches classes for residents. And when the Capitol Lakes Foundation purchased a rickshaw so that residents could participate in the Cycling Without Age program, Guta was one of three team members who agreed to initially organize the program and offer rides. The impact of Cycling Without Age was particularly felt through the pandemic when Guta provided access to the outside that - especially for our residents with mobility issues – might not otherwise have been possible.

Thanks to Guta, Muffy Steinhoff was able to bike together with her mother, Amy, during the height of Covid when it wasn't easy to connect with your loved ones. As she says:

“The week of my mom’s birthday, and just a few weeks before she passed away, I was able to meet her with my own bike and we took off on a ride. After being inside so much, it was the ultimate sense of freedom and fun.”

Guta’s compassion extends to his colleagues. After noticing team members struggling with financial emergencies, he worked with a small group to reach out to them with FAITH - or Financial Assistance in Times of Hardship. This program has helped countless staff members avoid eviction and utility disconnection. It has helped solve transportation issues to ensure our staff can get to work. And during the first stages of the pandemic the program paid the employee portion of health insurance premiums for furloughed staff so no one lost their benefits during a public health emergency. Thanks in large part to Guta’s work and influence, since 2016 this program – funded by the Capitol Lakes Foundation - has disbursed over $100,000 in emergency financial help to those who work at Capitol Lakes.

Guta’s kindness - shown through acts big and small - truly make Capitol Lakes a compassionate community where people want to live and work.

Thank you for cultivating kindness through compassion, Guta! #NSNCW

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