Senior Corps Week – Outstanding Volunteers at Winding Hollow, Senior Companions

Dolores Waller, Senior Companion, sits between two of her clients at Winding Hollow
Dolores Waller, Senior Companion, sits between two of her clients at Winding Hollow

The Senior Companions at Winding Hollow in Winder, GA and their clients are our final Outstanding Volunteers to celebrate Senior Corps Week!!  These women are lively, active, and fun – serving 20-30 hours each week with other older adults in the building and in the community at large. They discussed their day-to-day activities such as eating lunch together, driving to doctor’s appointments, going to the movies, playing bingo, running errands, and there is certainly no shortage of laughter and the simple joy of companionship. It is apparent in everyone’s bright smiles as we sit around the table and discuss the program. “Ellen [the coordinator] asked if I wanted to be a Senior Companion and I said no, I was just too busy. That same week, I was visiting my mother when someone knocked on the door. I told my mom she had a visitor and as the person walked in, her face just lit up like a Christmas tree,” Estelle Ferguson, Senior Companion, recalls. “I got back to Winding Hollow that same day, found Ellen, and said, ‘Sign me up!’ If I can give someone the same joy that that visitor gave my mom, then this is all worth it.” The impact of the Senior Companion’s service is apparent through their client’s stories. One woman spoke of her battle with cancer and the patience and kindness of her Senior Companion, who drives her to her treatments and helps her with everyday tasks that she is often too tired or weak to do herself. Another client said of her companion, “She helps me do things I can’t do. I needed help from somewhere. I have a peace of mind now, and I am so thankful!” “I think it’s a great program,” says Estelle of the Senior Companion Program. “I’ve talked to people that see no sense in paying a volunteer. But if you met my two clients, you’d understand the impact it makes. The impact can’t always even be measured – just like the smile on my mother’s face.” Having personally seen the smile on her own client’s face, I have to agree.

Submitted by: Elise North, Program Director for Senior Corps
Outstanding Volunteers: Estelle Ferguson, Judy Finley, Dorothy Jones, Joan Leon, Farrell Nash, Shirley Thompson, and Dolores Waller
Program: Winding Hollow in Winder, GA

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