Stories of Service
Serving her Companions with a Smile
Senior Companions - Grand Traverse County, Leelanau County
Eva Coleman wakes up each day and gets herself ready to go out and help other seniors in her community. Eva serves as a Senior Companion Volunteer, which is part of the national program, Senior Corps. Eva gives at least 14 hours of her time each and every week to seniors who live alone, are frail, have medical issues, are lonely and many have no way to get out. She sees 4 people every single week. Eva gives up to 4 hours of time to each of the seniors she serves. She takes them to much needed appointments with doctors, to the store for groceries, gets them out to do their errands, involving them in their community and gives them the gift of friendship.
Eva had left her part time job and was sitting around. She decided she needed something to do with her life in her older years and came across a volunteer recruitment Ad in her senior newsletter. She called and got signed up to start. Eva joined the program in May 2006 and has been serving seniors ever since. She went through a 40 hour training specific to being a Senior Companion. Eva serves seniors in Leelanau County as well as Grand Traverse County.
Eva is making a lasting impact in the communities that she serves and beyond. She makes a difference every day in the life of the senior that she is helping. Eva has volunteered for over 8 years. In that time she has served over 31 individuals for months or years at a time. Currently that adds up to 16,037 hours that she has spent with the seniors in her community. Eva has driven 10,215 miles getting those seniors to the doctor, grocery shopping, as well as meeting their needs. She has attended 998 hours of training since she started in the program.
By helping them she is also making a difference in the families lives of the senior who know that their mother, father, sister, brother, aunt or uncle has someone regularly coming and spending time with them. They know their family member is getting to the doctor appointments they need to go to, that Eva is helping by getting them to the store so they have groceries to eat. Eva makes a difference in agencies that serve older adults in her community. She is able to help the seniors that she serves so that agencies can serve others that do not have someone like Eva coming and helping them. The impact that Eva makes in the senior’s lives she serves ends up radiating out through that person’s family, friends, and community.
When I talked to Eva about being a volunteer and what she enjoys, she shared; “When you are happy and smiling it keeps your day upbeat; I feel that way with those I serve.” We are so lucky to have Eva as a Senior Companion volunteering to help other senior’s in her community!