Soon after she was activated as a volunteer with The Center in March 2021, Paige was matched with Sylvia for friendly visits. They’ve been inseparable since then with friendly visits on a weekly basis. Sylvia said that she looks forward to Paige’s visits every weekend.
Paige heard about The Center for Volunteer Caregiving from her aunt. Paige had a close relationship with her grandfather and saw him frequently. After his death in February 2020, Paige felt a void in her life. Her aunt suggested she try volunteering with an older adult and pointed her in The Center’s direction.
Paige is a medical assistant for a local medical office. In March 2021, many people were still reluctant to hang out with medical professionals due to their heightened exposure to people with COVID. But her care receiver Sylvia didn’t mind so they started visiting immediately. Paige and Sylvia enjoy sharing the details of their week with each other while they watch a show on television. Sylvia knits and crochets, so she’ll show Paige the progress she’s made on her current project. (Sylvia’s grandmother taught her to knit when she was four years old. She’s currently working on a project for her eighth great-grandchild!) Paige is a runner so she’ll snap photos of her run and share them with Sylvia. Paige recently ran a 5K and is considering training for a half-marathon.
When asked why she’s still volunteering after two years, Paige said that she likes knowing that she is “connected to someone” and has “someone to look forward to seeing on Saturday.” Paige understands that older adults long for companionship and that spending just an hour a week with an older adult can “mean the world to them.” Paige sees herself as Sylvia’s connection to the larger world and our community. She said, “I have learned so much from Sylvia. She’s so interesting. She lived in Malta and Africa, and her stories are amazing.”
Paige admitted that she was nervous about volunteering with and meeting a complete stranger. She wondered if they would like each other. But she’s glad that she pushed herself out of her comfort zone. “You never know what you’ll find and a friend you wouldn’t have met otherwise.”
Paige previously volunteered with an animal shelter. She said that she enjoys the flexibility that The Center’s volunteer opportunities offer and the variety of volunteer assignments available. The Center makes it easy to volunteer while working a full-time job. She also likes the freedom to develop a relationship with an older adult.
Paige is a “local girl” who grew up in Holly Springs. She graduated from Wake Forest University before returning to the area for her first job.