Michigan Association of Foster Grandparent & Senior Companion Programs

Stories of Service

Creating Special Memories with Children and Seniors

Gordon Wheeler

Foster Grandparents - Emmet County

Thoughtful, creative, caring and a fun personality all describe Gordon Wheeler.

Gordon has been a Foster Grandparent and a Senior Companion for Emmet County  for over 12 years!

Gordon is 92 years old and he still gives it his all each and every day serving the children and adults in his community.

What prompted you to get involved? -Someone had asked if anyone was interested in a volunteer opportunity, I’ll never forget it because I had always worked with kids and enjoyed it so this sounded perfect.

How has volunteering as a Foster Grandparent/Senior Companion benefited you? -It has given me something I want to wake up for and to be enthused about.

What keeps you volunteering year after year?  -I like to be with people. I love to be with the children and visit with the seniors, they keep me volunteering.

What is one of your most memorable moments with the Foster Grandparent/Senior Companion Programs? -Not just one moment but lots of little moments. When I can play the piano at Bay Bluffs to lift people’s moods, when I help the kids at Little Traverse Bay Band Head Start draw or play them music. I like to make the people laugh, do drawings for them, help with artwork. I like to be with the children and be “Grandpa Gordon”. It is nice to see a smile on their face and I can help put that smile there.

What are some of your hobbies that keep you busy outside of the Foster Grandparent/Senior Companion Programs? -Gordon has a very large model boat collection that he has made and he has showcased them many times. They are very impressive and detailed! Gordon also enjoys playing the piano, the guitar, singing and is an inventor. He has invented things throughout his life and continues to make more every day. He is very creative and artistic and shares his talents with the children and the seniors.

Gordon helped a group of college kids with making a book of poetry. He gives even more of himself volunteering at other locations to children and has helped in the past with the Kid’s Art Show for the Alanson Riverfest. Gordon keeps himself busy and is always there to give!

What would you say to someone interested in volunteering? -I would tell them to go for it! To sit at home and do nothing is not healthy so join and start volunteering.

Thank you so much Gordon for your commitment to the program! We appreciate you and your time that you give!