When Judy Doseck showed up for her scheduled volunteer time for ElderTLC, she expected to sort inventory or make a gift basket, as she’d done on other days. But when she raised her hand to volunteer for making gift baskets, Cathleen Hartman, President of ElderTLC, told Judy that she had a special job for her today.
“I kept thinking to myself, ‘I hope it doesn’t involve cooking!’” Judy laughs.
Judy learned that ElderTLC had received requests for “fancy outfits” as gifts for three elderly women in senior care facilities, but only two outfits were available in inventory. To fill the last request, Cathleen went to JC Penny’s sale rack and searched for something spectacular.
“I found a really pretty black sparkly jacket, but it had several snags in it,” Cathleen says. “It was originally priced at over $70, now on sale for $10.”
Cathleen asked to speak with a manager in hopes to get the price down below ElderTLC’s budget of $5 per recipient. She explained ElderTLC’s mission, and her hopes that the jacket snags could be repaired.
“And so she did it,” says Cathleen. “She sold a $70 sweater to me for $4 something! I was ecstatic.”
Back at ElderTLC’s headquarters, Cathleen pulls Judy aside to ask about the sweater.
“I’m terrible at knitting, but I’m sort of handy with a needle and thread,” Judy says. “So she showed me this cardigan and said, is there anything you can do this? And I said sure! I do this sort of thing all the time.”
Judy says she was drawn to ElderTLC because of the effort the organization puts into meeting individual recipient requests.
“It’s such a personal level,” Judy says. “If they happen to like Led Zeppelin, or want a baseball cap, ElderTLC tries pretty hard to satisfy that need.”
Over the next half an hour, Judy carefully repaired the sweater by pulling the snags to the back of the garment and tying them off. By the time she was done, the snags were completely gone from view.
“I imagine it made someone’s Christmas very sparkly,” Judy says.