For many people, volunteering is a key part of living a fulfilled life. Whether you volunteered with your children’s school, helped at your church, or found a way to assist your community as a whole, you’ve likely spent some hours volunteering over the years. It has been found that volunteering is an important part of positive aging, too.
Here at ECH, we support all of our residents’ volunteer efforts, and we encourage them to get involved as much as they’d like. In our independent living neighborhood, Dudley Square, our residents are full of volunteer ideas and keep busy while giving back to the community.
How Dudley Square Volunteers Support Fellow Residents
Some of our residents, like Jim Norsworthy (pictured left above), have volunteered their time to make improvements to Dudley Square and ECH, and for the lives of the residents there. For example, Jim created a book about the community when some friends of his were moving to Dudley Square. He wrote down things he had learned about the community, and this document was later shared with other residents to add notes and other information. Your Dudley Square Book is still printed for new residents when they arrive.
Other residents have helped improve communication around the neighborhood, as well. Barbara Roche and Gladys Ford created a publication called Around the Square that included feature stories by residents.
Jim also created an email group to send messages to all residents. It’s a closed group, with only residents who want to be included, and it can be used both as a messaging service from the organization, but also from residents to the group. Some residents who don’t have email have provided the name of a relative who will get the email on their behalf and then call the resident with the updates.
Dudley Square resident Weezie Walker (pictured right) serves on The Woman’s Board, which plays a critical role in the lives of residents at the Episcopal Church Home. She volunteers regularly in the gift shop and serves on the planning committee for the annual fundraising luncheon hosted by the Woman’s Board. Other key contributions of The Woman’s Board include providing monthly resident scholarships, delivering mail to residents, planning Christmas parties, knitting shawls for newcomers and making vital financial contributions to support the priority needs of the ECH community. You can learn more about Weezie in Episode 2 of the ERS Linkage Podcast!
How Dudley Square Volunteers Help the Greater Community
Not all Dudley Square residents volunteer within our community. Some have taken their skills outside of the neighborhood to share their talents with others who need it. Emily Willingham, for example, previously participated in a Recording for the Blind program.
She says, “I was a high school math teacher in former years, and so I recorded math textbooks to be used by blind students. I felt richly rewarded, thinking of the students who needed this service.”
Because of her background in math, she also tutored math at The West End School, where she got to know middle-school boys and helped them advance in their knowledge. These students were either unprepared for the class they were in or were ready for the next level. Emily was able to teach them at the next level.
Jerrylynn Norsworthy (pictured left above) has also spent time volunteering in the greater community. A retired teacher, Jerrylynn has focused on supporting young children. She has taught Sunday school to first graders, as well as Bible school to students of all grade levels. She has also volunteered at St. Francis-In-The-Fields Episcopal Church for years, preparing for Sunday services.
In a previous blog, we spoke with Dr. John Kiesel, a Dudley Square resident and retired pediatrician who continues to work with at-risk populations. Dr. Kiesel has served as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) for 10 years now, helping children and families navigating the legal system following abuse, neglect, addiction, and other harmful situations.
Let’s Support Each Other, Louisville
Volunteering is an excellent way to not only keep yourself active but also to make a positive difference for those around you. It’s good for your mind, body, and soul, and we encourage you to volunteer whenever you get the chance. At Episcopal Church Home’s Dudley Square, you can live purposely and give back to your community whenever you’d like.
Many people are not actively volunteering right now due to COVID-19, but know that ECH residents are ready to support their community as soon as it is again safe to do so. When people volunteer, they feel more connected to others and the world around them, which is important for positive mental health. At Dudley Square, you have the chance to find a volunteer project that interests you or create your own to meet a need you see or to use your talents fully.