For the past eight months, YouthBuild Corpsmembers have volunteered at two senior living facilities through Bessie’s Hope Youth and Elder Program. This program enhances quality of life and creates meaningful volunteer opportunities through life-enriching interactions with nursing home and assisted living elders. Corpsmembers have spent time with the residents creating crafts, playing games, even singing and dancing. It has been an unforgettable and rewarding experience for both the seniors and the Corpsmembers. Abby, a 2013 YouthBuild graduate, shared her thoughts:
Volunteering with Bessie’s Hope impacted all of us. It was challenging at first because we were not used to spending time with the elderly, but I learned a great deal about respect. We all left having learned something from attending Bessie’s Hope. I gained self-esteem, knowing that I can make a change in someone’s life even though they face challenges. I have no living grandparents, so interacting with the elderly made me feel good as if they were my own grandparents. The seniors may not have remembered us after we left, but knowing that you can put a smile on their faces for that day was an amazing feeling. It really was such a meaningful experience for me and the other YouthBuild Corpsmembers.
The YouthBuilders will be volunteering today with Bessie’s Hope for the last time before graduation. We know that these experiences will continue to have an impact even after their term has ended.