A Volunteer's Story -- Lisa
"Moving to Arizona from Vermont a few years ago was exciting for us. After settling in, I soon realized that without small children or pets, meeting people would not be as easy. A neighbor, Sue, suggested I join her for a day to Volunteer with a charity that sounded very intriguing. Thanks to Sue, I’ve not only found a rewarding and fun way to give back to the community, but I have met some of the nicest friends!
I could immediately tell that ElderTLC was different than others I have experienced, where sometimes you felt like it was just a large business, doing the best that they could, but lacking connection. Cathleen, Linda & Tracy could not be more giving, generous or warm people. Honestly. Everyone who volunteers for ElderTLC relays these qualities about them! And, the service they provide for the less-fortunate in senior living facilities in Arizona is beyond anything I’ve come across before. One of the first things Cathleen explained to me was her philosophy for volunteering, which won me over immediately. That is, everyone has a hobby or a gift. They like to invite people to share those gifts within ElderTLC. For example, I love photography, and sharing my photos on Instagram. Cathleen right away asked if I would like to take photos for ElderTLC and post them on Instagram/Facebook. I was so excited! This was a perfect fit for me (and, I guess, for them!). And over the past few years, it’s become so evident that this philosophy works beautifully at ElderTLC. We have volunteers who are interested in marketing, organizing, decorating, socializing, shopping (seriously!), event planning, styling, sewing, crafting, jewelry making, baking—you name it—your hobby or gift is appreciated at ElderTLC!
Most important of all for me, is the gift of giving that ElderTLC provides. I am fortunate enough to also assist the facilities in their holiday shopping when they visit us. The stories I hear of their less fortunate residents, the love and gratitude they convey about ElderTLC, stays with me throughout the year. I even write down a lot of these stories, and tell family and friends about them. Charlie, a homeless man who had just been admitted to a Mesa facility, had a size 15 foot, so he had torn open his “shoes” at the toes so he could walk in them. We were able to give him a SIZE 15 pair of fluffy slipper/shoes for the Holidays! (*goosebumps*). Bill had been forced to leave behind his beloved and most important possession, a Golden Retriever, when he was placed in a senior living facility. We were able to provide a large stuffed animal Golden Retriever to make his holiday special (can you imagine his face when he opened THAT gift?). "
There are so many more heartwarming stories, and so many more reasons that I am grateful to have found ElderTLC. ~Lisa
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