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" I really enjoy gardening and it's great being able to help somebody at the same time"

-Karen Gunderson

My great aunt is a client of SVSSP.  When she saw my picture in the paper, she requested that I come and see her for a volunteer visit.  I hadn't seen her in a few years, since my Grandma's funeral.  She is very energetic and gets around pretty well for being in her nineties and she is the most adorable lady you will ever meet. (Of course I'm being a little biased.  She IS family!)

When I walked in, she took my hand and pulled me to the living room to look at pictures. She had received a viewing monitor from the blind institute so she could magnify her pictures.  She doesn't see very well and this gift box has helped to keep her memories alive.  She excitedly told me stores about her childhood, he teenage years, married life, her golden years and everything in-between.  I learned about my Grandpa, life during the Depression, the War, and I got a first hand history lesson. 

Living in a world where people are essentially married to their phones and everything is over sensationalized, it's extremely refreshing to take a step back and have a real conversation face to face and learn about a time when things were simpler and community meant something more than just a geographic area we lived in.  I long for a life like that.  Sometimes I feel like I was born in the wrong time.  I am an old soul.  Getting the opportunity to experience these moments the past through previous generations' eyes is something that is becoming more scarce as time goes by.  Just one hour with someone can make a big difference, not only in the client's life but in the volunteer's life too.

-Erin Blegen

"Be kinder than necessary for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle."