Community Stories

Volunteering with seniors gave Nohemy hope to persevere

December 9, 2022

Volunteering with seniors gave Nohemy hope to persevere

Nohemy Rosada has perservered through tumultuous times because of relationships she made with seniors while volunteering. 

When she moved to the United States from Venezuela, Nohemy didn’t know anyone. At first, she struggled to find stable housing, make a living and meet the right people. 

“Life is hard in the United States. And I am alone in this country. I don’t have family,” said Nohemy, whose words have been translated from Spanish. “Thank God for Heart2Heart. My life has changed so much.”

Heart2Heart staff first got to know Nohemy as she cleaned the office in the morning. They saw how diligently she worked. When she mentioned that she spent so much of her earnings on bus fare to get to work, they wanted to empower the amazing senior to make positive changes in her life. 

So Heart2Heart raised $3,000 on Nohemy’s behalf to help her purchase a 2005 Kia Sorento. And that could have been an amazing end to a compelling story. 

But it wasn’t. Nohemy used the car to begin volunteering at Sonata Coconut Creek

“It was all new, but I connected with the residents of Sonata who speak Spanish,” she explained. 

She often stayed for hours, talking with the residents and spending time with them. She learned to play new table games and painted with them. She made sure they got fresh air and sun during walks outside. She helped them with crafts, keeping their hands agile with scissors as they made cards for Mother’s Day and Valentine’s Day. 

“The experience has taught me so much,” Nohemy said. “My love for the seniors made me decide to study nursing.”

But in April, Nohmey’s visits suddenly stopped. A car crash totaled her vehicle and badly injured her knee. She’s been recovering from the crash for months with physical therapy for her knee when she can afford it. 

And she missed her friends at Sonata. 

“I cried a lot,” Nohemy said. 

However, while she couldn’t volunteer as she used to, a new opportunity to serve arose. 

Over the past year, Nohemy had been living with Erika Andujar, who opened her home to help her. Recently, just as the paperwork for Nohemy’s work visa cleared, the health of Erika’s mother took a turn for the worse. 

Erika suddenly needed someone who could take care of her mom. And Nohemy was ready to step in. 

“I helped her out, and the Lord prepared her to take care of Mom,” Erika said.

Nohemy moved in as a full-time caretaker for Lucy. She has a place to stay and a job that she loves. And she’s working to get certification as a home health aide. 

“I don’t make much, but like I told Erika and Lucy, la paciente mía, I don’t want so much money,” Nohemy said. “Instead, I want her to get better. I want her to walk and do her normal life as she was before.”

Erika said that even Lucy’s doctor commented that Lucy was receiving excellent care from her new caretaker. 

“I know I don’t have to worry about Mom,” Erika said. “It’s a peace of mind, and I don’t think that fully encapsulates everything.” 

As her former roommate, Erika saw how Nohemy’s time at the care center kept her hopes high when she couldn’t work and life was tough. 

“It kept her from spiraling, through good days and bad days,” Erika said. “She’s resilient. She kept on volunteering, kept on helping.”

With her new job and housing secured, Nohemy has been saving for a new car.

“And I know I’m going to have a new car,” Nohemy said. “I have to have it to visit my dear friends at Sonata.”

Read more about: care centers, hope, restore purpose

Join the Team!

Becoming a Heart2Heart volunteer means that you are dedicated to serving the aging community. It means you want to connect in a meaningful way to a specific individual or to several people. It means you are committed to a consistent amount of time per month – whether that’s several hours a week or just a few hours per month.

Heart2Heart volunteers must be background checked and trained. Our training can be completed from your home on your computer or device, through the online Volunteer Portal. We run fingerprints in our office in Fort Lauderdale, and you can schedule an appointment with us after you finish the training.

The first step is to create an account on our Volunteer Portal. To get started, click here!

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