to work with other volunteers, people her own age, as well as the high school senior she works alongside or the grandfather and his grade-school and middle-school granddaughters. So volunteers enjoy camaraderie as well.
Then, too, Elaine feels she is not only helping the seniors, she is helping the community as a whole. Families who have relatives in the home know that their loved ones receive not only physical care but personal attention, too.
In Audry’s case, she has amassed friendships and rich experiences that cover 32 years.
And Kathy says she “just loves these people.”
The expressions of the residents linger in her mind even after she gets home, she says, and it makes her smile.
Though the home sponsors an annual banquet for its volunteers, when they get to mingle with each other and share experiences, Kathy admits that she’s not sure exactly how many volunteers there actually are, considering the fact that some just come to play cards with some of the seniors from time to time or read to them or help them write a letter. And some just come down to listen. Just listen and be a friend.
“That’s what it’s all about,” she says.
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bers what it was like in the early ‘80s. From the beginning, Audry has been delivering mail once a week. She sorts it and personally carries it to each resident’s room. This sometimes provides her with an opportunity to chat and get to know the people at the same time.
At times, she has offered to read letters to those with limited vision. Years ago, one German resident had received a letter from her family in the old country and asked Elaine to read it to her. As the letter progressed, she learned that her sister had died, but when the woman started to cry, she wasn’t alone. Audry cried right along with her. Volunteers become more than mail deliverymen, entertainers and assistants for board games; they become friends who care.
Audry has also served on the auxiliary board for many years, helping to plan events and put them on the calendar. In this way, residents enjoy a variety of activities each month.
But why are these volunteers willing to sacrifice time and effort to come down week after week and work without getting paid?
Elaine says she enjoys the feeling that she is helping someone. “It makes me feel wanted.”
Besides that, it gives her an opportunity