Once a month, volunteers with Friends & Family deliver commodities to our senior population, many who are isolated, physically impaired or immobile.

These frequent visits, along with additional visits throughout the month, often forge a bond between the volunteer and the senior. Once a trust relationship is established, needs arise that might otherwise go unnoticed.

On an unusually bleak morning, a volunteer couldn’t help but notice how chilled Ruby’s* apartment was. Ruby shared that her heating unit stopped working, and there was nowhere else to turn for help.

The volunteer quickly got in touch with a GRACE staff member to meet the need. When longtime supporter Charlie Walker of Walker Engineering learned of the situation, not only did he immediately purchase the unit, he installed it himself.

While it’s never our hope that a client go without such an essential utility, the situation made us evaluate the client’s needs from every level to ensure that she received comprehensive support, including groceries, utility assistance and clothing.

According to Friends & Family Coordinator, Maryanne Waddell, the human interaction was above all the most meaningful gift to Ruby.

“After Mr. Walker and the Executive Director paid a visit to her home to check on her, [Ruby] said she felt incredibly loved and cared for. We often take those small relationships for granted, but just knowing that there are people who remember and care for them mean the world to seniors that crave that connection with others.”

Thanks to the Walker Family and Walker Engineering for being so quick to meet the timely needs of others, and for our wonderful volunteers who are always looking to enrich the lives of those they serve.

Participating in the Friends & Family program, which provides assistance and companionship to displaced or immobile seniors, is a much-needed avenue to extend your heart to a senior in need of affection. Contact Maryanne Waddell to find how your talents align with a need.

*Name changed to preserve anonymity