Volunteering with the Elderly

June 25,2014

I woke up today and realized I haven’t done much while in Australia to give back to the community. I always like interacting with locals everywhere I go so I got myself together and walked down to the senior center down the road and popped my head in asking if they’re looking for any help. Since I’m still getting paid workmans comp for my injury I was able to offer volunteer time. The lady’s eyes opened up and asked what I preferred to do. I simply asked if I could go inside, sit and talk with the people. I can imagine how lonely it must be living in a retirement center and recall how eager they are for anyone to speak with. She obliged and brought me into the room where everyone was sitting. Some were playing cards while others were knitting. Carol, the lady below, was one of the younger ones in the room and I started with her. She was knitting away and said that she knits gifts for everyone in the center to pass time. She made sure to tell me she uses all the left over pieces of yarn because she “hates waste”. She went on to tell me about her husband who recently passed. They were married for 52 years and she loved him very much. She said it’s been two years since he left and she misses him everyday. I could tell she enjoyed speaking about him so I asked her question after question. Turns out she married when she was 15 and they used to travel the world together. She visited the States and said she loved San Francisco. She mentioned how nice it is for young people now a days to travel because it wasn’t common when she was younger. She showed me a photo of her husband and he was a handsome gent. She said she has three relatives here in Perth but unfortunately they never get around to come and visit her. She was a wonderful lady and her love for her late husband radiated from her as she spoke. It was truly humbling. The next guy, Charlie, was a 92 year old veteran who was telling me war after war stories. He was in Normandy and Japan just to name a few. Before I left him he gave me one bit of advice.. “Never go to Bali.” They then had me wrap various presents because next Wednesday is their “Christmas in July” party where I was offered to come back and help them. I’m super exited to be a part of it. It’s amazing to hear the wisdom these people can share. Such wisdom only comes from experiences through a long lived life. It’s a shame the elderly get overlooked so much in society because they have so much to offer. It was a nice morning an I’m looking forward to the next time I visit. Wish everyone a pleasant week.

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