AmeriCorps Seniors Volunteer of the Quarter December 2020
If Barbara isn’t river rafting, hiking, or camping she is serving as a Senior Companion for the AAA-Five County AmeriCorps Seniors Program.
For the past 6 years she has assisted her fellow seniors in Parowan, Utah; helping with transportation to medical appointments, shopping, and other needed errands. But more importantly she is their friend. Three of her seven clients have been with her since she started. The following is a little story one of her ladies shared:
"I find my Senior Companion to be very rare, but definitely a natural for her chosen occupation. Not everyone is cut out to be a caregiver! I find her to be dependable, efficient, knowledgeable, discerning, and compassionate. I couldn't ask for more.
For example: One day we started out, my list in hand. I knew we needed to be efficient and well organized as I had a hearing appt, RX's to pick up, the thrift shop and, of course, lunch. That's a lot! But luck was with us. We only ran an hour late! So back to Parowan.
'Whoa Nellie!' I said, 'look at all those deer!' She said, 'I can take you closer.' But I said, 'it’s already so late.' She said nothing but drove the backroad for a closer view. We estimated 100 head. What a thrill we shared! We watched them until darkness overtook us. I shall never forget that day! Thank you Lord for my Senior Companion."
As you can tell Barbara is a fantastic Senior Companion who goes the second mile. However, Barbara’s service does not stop there. She serves her community, family, and church. She cared for her mother the last few years of her life while also being a caregiver for her in-laws.
While raising her two sons, Barbara was a foster parent for teen girls who were expecting babies. She also took in younger children and once was asked to take in two little boys two days before Christmas! She said it was one of her family’s most memorable Christmas’.
When talking to Barbara you soon find out what she loves the most: her church, her two sons, Heidi-her dog, and those she serves. And of course, river rafting with her sons and ten grandchildren (over 1,000 river miles).
"HEAVEN IS A LITTLE CLOSER WHEN YOU’RE ON THE WATER!"- Barbara
She is a great lady and always leaves you believing you are her special friend!
Thank you Barbara for all you do!
Joni Lyman is the AmeriCorps Seniors-Senior Companion Program coordinator for the AAA-Five County.