Michigan Association of Foster Grandparent & Senior Companion Programs

Stories of Service

Over 90 Years of Age and Still Giving!

Elbert Lyles

Senior Companions - Kent County

Elbert Lyles, age 93, has been a Senior Companion volunteer for over 26 years in the Kent County area. When recently asked, why don’t you retire, he replied “I enjoy being around other people too much and they need me.”

Elbert spends his days volunteering several days a week at the United Methodist Community House and a day at the Salvation Army. Vera White at the United Methodist Community House says the one word that best sums up Mr. Lyles is “attentive.” He is always aware of other’s needs and is a good hearted man. Elbert has slowed a bit over the years, although not very much, and he has contemplated retiring. However, Ms. White is quick to remind him there is no time to retire as he is very much needed at the senior community center.

As a Senior Companion Lyle spends his days volunteering by playing cards and bingo at the community centers. He enjoys walking and walks whenever he can weather permitting. Staying home inactive is not option for this man on the go. Volunteering gives a sense of purpose and meaning because he knows he is making a difference. Lyle is and always been an asset to the program and more so to the community in which he serves. He is a true example of how volunteering changes people’s lives.