I serve by being a Senior Companion in San Bernardino, CA. As a Senior Companion, I visit with local seniors to be a listening ear and helping hand. My experience volunteering has been full of stories to share but there is one woman has touched my heart.
She is a new client of mine. At 87-years-old, she has just returned from the hospital, suffers from dementia, hypertension and heart disease. She lives with her bedbound husband and adult son. She had not responded in any way to anyone at home.
I saw a book about African American history and began reading it to my new client. When I got to the story of Marian Anderson, the celebrated American contralto singer of the 20th century who broke many barriers for African American artists, she turned and looked in my direction. I was astonished! She did not respond when I asked her if she liked to sing, but her son said she enjoyed singing gospel songs in her younger years.
Her son and I began singing and after several songs, I said that it was time for me to go. She immediately reached over, took my arm and held on! I sat down and started to sing again. Her son joined in for several more songs and when I stated that it was time for me to go, she again took my arm and held on to me. Her son said, "She has not shown any response since coming home."
I promised to return the following week with more songs and tapes for her. My heart is full. I love being a Senior Companion. It's just one way you can contribute to your community, looking out for the more vulnerable among us. To find out how to apply to your local Senior Companion program, please visit here.