Margo Ratcliffe recently shared her experience as a long time volunteer at Sayre Christian Village.
I have had connections with Sayre Christian Village since the time of its founding. I had volunteered with various church groups for special events and had frequently visited dear friends who were residents there from its beginning until my retirement in 2004.
About the time of my retirement, I was contacted by Marcia Martin, a former co-worker in a local school, who also knew me through some of the volunteer activities in which I participated. She proposed that I lead a Short Story Hour for interested residents in Friendship Towers.
What is Short Story Hour
Since that time, I have regularly met weekly with a small group of residents there for an hour of reading aloud to them. They especially enjoy stories about life as they knew it—living in rural Kentucky (or another state), growing up during “hard times,” and remembering what it was like when they attended elementary school. I identify with stories like these because my upbringing was like that of many of those in these stories.
I keep going back to read because I LOVE doing it! It is a great joy to be able to brighten the day of these listeners, to cheer them with an amusing tale, to help them recall things from their past, to give them an opportunity to share something of their “story,” and to help us all get to know one another as individuals—not just someone who lives in the same place.
Another reason I love to do this is that I may someday occupy a place similar to Friendship Towers. I think of Jesus’ words from Matt. 7:12—
“In everything you do, do to others as you would have them do to you…..” I know if that is to be the case, I would be so grateful to have someone come to share stories with me when perhaps, I could no longer read for myself.
I Love to Volunteer at Sayre Christian Village
I LOVE seeing the residents thrive in their environment. Although this is a new type of living for them when they first arrive, I can see so many who blossom with having companionship and stimulating activities. The outstanding activities team offers such a range of creative things for these residents to do—some complain because they don’t have time to get them all in!
I LOVE volunteering at Sayre because Sayre Christian Village was developed by the fellowship of churches of which I am a part. It is so reassuring to see that the Christian principles on which it was founded are being carried out all these years later. Being able to help minister “to the least of these” is a real honor for me.
I hope that the stories I share have contributed to the well-being of these residents by providing them “good medicine” through laughter and encouragement to reflect on a blessed life (even if it was hard!). I hope they have been comforted by knowing that someone who is not in their physical family cares about them and comes to see them because they want to.
I know I have received a great blessing and LOTS of hugs and well wishes. Being able to volunteer there has enriched my life.
Volunteering is Vital
Margo encourages individuals to share in the joy of volunteering. Furthermore, Margo believes volunteering doesn’t require extensive work or skills, but rather a high level of compassion and a genuine love for people.
Sayre Christian Village has been giving award-winning service to seniors in the Bluegrass for over 35 years. Without volunteers, we wouldn’t be able to fulfill our mission. Volunteer at Sayre. It is a rewarding experience for both you and our residents!