Volunteer Spirit: Teens give time and TLC to the older folks

KNOXVILLE, Tenn (WVLT) -- Sure Bingo is popular in any home where seniors may live, but it's extra special at Courtyards Senior Living.

Kathy Broggy says especially when 13 year old Chloe Patterson calls the numbers for the folks who live there.

They have Alzheimer's disease.

Broggy says, "The elders love having the youngsters around, it's an invigorating experience, it brings a whole different aspect, they enjoy having kids around."

Chloe is one of many teen volunteers who come here because she enjoys it, "In the summer, I'm here 3-4 hours a day. Why? I just love the residents here. I enjoy spending time here."

Payden Ellis was giving manicures and polishing nails when we arrived.

Payden says, "The residents are so nice, they make your day better. My school days are so boring and when I come over here, it is the highlight of my day."

And it's all volunteer spirit, no paycheck for their time and TLC. However, it is enriching their lives in many ways.

"There's a whole world these kids don't know and this generation is moving on and we're going to lose that. If kids are coming in and hearing stories of the 40;50's 60's it''s going to help them understand, Says Broggy.

Payden agrees, "History has changed a lot. They will sit there and tell me stories how what they did when they were younger and its a lot different than what we do now."

Chloe says, "I learned to be more appreciative, especially to my family. Many of the people here are really sick so I try to be extra nice because they are all like my family now."

She adds, "I just hug them, and they get happy. And the rest of the day they're happy. It just feels awesome."

Many assisted living homes and nursing homes need volunteers and any age.

You can call around or contact Courtyard Senior Living.

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6450 Papermill Drive Knoxville, TN 37919 Phone - (865) 450-8888; Fax - (865) 450-8869
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