Laura Barton has been a volunteer at our Atlanta home for just over a year. She splits her time between Horticultural and Music Therapy sessions and has made quite a few friends during her time with us.
She says, “I have lived in the neighborhood by A.G. Rhodes for 16 years. When my grandmother passed away in 2017, it became instantly clear that (because) she brought so much wisdom and grace to my life, it was important for me to connect with elders in my community and continue that intergenerational joy-sharing.”
“My favorite part about volunteering at A.G. Rhodes are the smiles that light up the elders’ faces when we sing together. I think the elders see that I bring a consistent warmth and light each week. Before each group I make a point to go around to each person, make eye contact, and say their first name. I feel such a sense of gratitude by laughing and smiling with each of them in these simple moments. They are truly the most interesting and cool people I have the honor of spending time with!”
Laura says she has a special connection with one resident in particular, Ms. Lucy. She says, “I love visiting with Lucy. She has stories for days, has a hilarious sense of humor and cracks jokes constantly.” But she also says Lucy has some of the most hilarious “not-for-print” quotes ever! “Each time I see her, she asks how my ‘squeeze’ (my boyfriend) is doing and then tells me I light up. The truth is, I light up because it means the world to me that she cares about my life as much as I care about hers.”
“I also want to mention sweet Thelma Favors. She and I had a strong, mostly non-verbal relationship. She reminded me so much of my grandmother in her late stage of dementia. Her eyes sparkled every time we got to sit near each other. I loved checking in with her until the very end. We took purple flowers to her grave because she was often seen wearing purple. I miss sweet Thelma.”
All the feels. Thank you, Laura, and to all our volunteers who create such meaningful connections with our elders!
April 10, 2019