February 2019 Volunteer of the Month
Diane has been a dedicated volunteer in the SASI office since 2017, shortly after moving here from Washington D.C. She came to us with a wealth of experience including technology implementation, budgeting, procurement and program management within a variety of Federal Government departments. Diane jumped right in to help us out, and quickly became a great asset to our team. She assists our Development and Marketing team working on special projects and general office support as well as volunteering at our special events.
Why did you want to volunteer at SASI?
I appreciate the importance of home care and volunteer support since those services helped my father happily and safely live at home throughout his long struggle with Parkinson's disease.
What has been one of your favorite volunteer projects/events?
Helping SASI at the Ruby Slipper event because it gave me the opportunity to meet many of SASI's community supporters.
What have you learned from your volunteer experience at SASI?
SASI team members create a "village" of caring support for the most vulnerable members of our community. It is a privilege to be a part of the SASI team.
December 2018 Volunteer of the Month
Why did you want to become a Senior Connections visiting volunteer?
I heard about Senior Connections from my brother Michael Otte, who was is a member of SASI’s Board of Directors. He talks about the great value of this program. I had been looking for a way to connect with a senior who could use some companionship and some help, as well as share stories with me about life. I have gotten all this and more from my 'connection' with Miss Georgia!
What is one of your favorite memories/memorable story with your senior friend?
Miss Georgia came to our house last year for Christmas Eve and got to know my husband and girls, my parents, my brother's family and most especially my brother's 3-year-old daughter Georgia, or "Little Georgia," as we call her now. We had a great night of singing carols around the piano, opening presents and eating delicious food and sharing stories. We hope to do this again this Christmas Eve! I also have heard the most amazing stories from Georgia about her childhood in 1930's and 1940's Atlanta in the time of extreme segregation. And stories about her life here in Chicago, working on improving the community around her: starting a community international garden in Rogers Park, her work on the Tenants' Bill of Rights, her work with various political figures like Jan Schakowsky and others. She is a powerhouse, this Miss Georgia!
What have you learned from your senior friend?
Georgia is an extremely positive person who keeps things in perspective. She is an amazing friend and keeps me positive as well. The stories from her life that she has shared with me about her 94 years of life so far are truly amazing and worthy of a book! I am honored to be her friend.
Loyola Student Volunteers
November 2018 Volunteers of the Month:
Argentium is fortunate to have had three smart and talented student volunteers this year. Even with differing concentrations in their studies, they have each had an interest in learning more about aging and working with older adults.
Safia, a student from Loyola University, has been volunteering with SASI since September as a service-learning project for her Healthy Aging class. She has been involved in our Senior Connections program and has visited Senior Connections participants to gain a better perspective on healthy aging.
Rameen, a student from UIC, has been volunteering with SASI since September as well. She is Senior Connections Friendly Caller, who calls ten seniors each week, to see how their week has been and get to know each other better with each call.
Esther, a student from Northeastern Illinois University, has been volunteering with Argentium since January. As our former intern and volunteer of the month, she assisted in Argentium Senior Connections program with friendly visits and calls. Although her internship ended in May, she continues to volunteer as a friendly visitor and participates in our events like The Ruby Slipper benefit and Senior Connections Fall Luncheon.
Argentium enjoys working with young adults who want to pursue a career in the field of aging or have an interesting in learning more about working with older adults. If interested in learning more about our internship, serving learning, or other volunteer opportunities, please contact Argentium for more details.
October 2018 Volunteer of the Month
Ann Searles has been a dedicated member of Argentium's [formerly SASI] Board of Directors for more than ten years. She has served on a variety of committees including the Marketing and Development Committee and The Ruby Slipper Committee; she has been co-chair to the Ruby Slipper Event as well. Ann’s strong sense of community has led to hold volunteer positions with the Evanston Lighthouse Rotary Club, the Garden Club of Evanston and St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, just to name a few. Ann truly exemplifies what makes an amazing volunteer and leader. Argentium Care is lucky to have Ann as a board member who continues to give so much of her time and treasure to the organization’s mission: support the efforts of older adults to remain in their homes.
Why did you want to volunteer on the Board of Directors?
Argentium [formerly SASI] began as a small organization administering a part time and temporary employment clearing house and housesitting services. These two programs helped seniors remain partially employed in an economic downturn and offered a service to homeowners who would be out of town. It has been exciting to watch the agency evolve into an impressive non-profit with a range of services including home care and the Senior Connections program. I always feel proud to be associated with an organization with such a good reputation.
What has been one of your favorite memories during your time at Argentium?
Some of my favorite memories involve working on the Board and the Ruby Slipper Event. Two women with whom I served, Helen Heyrman and Ellen Browne, were so knowledgeable and respected in the field of aging. Each taught me special things with charm and good humor. The community benefited largely from their contributions and still mourns their loss even after several years. Everything that they did was accompanied by love. I was very lucky to have known both of them.
What have you learned from volunteering with/in support of older adults?
It is interesting to serve on this board because I learn something at every meeting. Information on current senior needs and trends are shared with everyone.
All people, including but not exclusively seniors, need to be connected to other human beings. The human connection is vital for mental health at all ages. Seniors also have a wealth of knowledge and experiences to share. They enrich my life!