Community Stories

Volunteer of the Month: Edie Kelson

February 24, 2022

A woman dressed all in purple with purple hair chats with a friend on an iPad.

Our recognition for volunteer of the month goes to Edie Kelson!

Edie began working for Heart2Heart as a volunteer coordinator in December, under a temporary work grant that expires at the end of February. Through her work both on and off the clock, Edie immediately made a big impact on Heart2Heart’s outreach to seniors.

At 72 years young, as she likes to say, Edie has been active in helping seniors find what they need to thrive for a while. Her employment at Heart2Heart gave her more resources to offer her well-established and new connections in the community.

Edie also jumped in to lead Heart2Heart events at care centers. At Brookdale Deer Creek, she taught residents how to create dream boards and later helped them make Valentine’s Day cards. In Pacifica Senior Living in Sunrise, she helped seniors decorate Christmas trees made out of magazines (which she meticulously folded for days before the event).

Edie also is working on a resource guide for seniors, which will be available on our website in the coming weeks.

We’re sad to say goodbye to Edie, the self-proclaimed Purple Lady, as an employee. However, we’re happy that she will forever be a part of our active and impactful group of volunteers. We know her she will continually brighten smiles with her buoyant personality and regal air, topped with a purple crown she wears as a child of God.

Congratulations Edie!

A group of volunteers in masks pose for the camera after an event.

Edie, third from the right, poses with other volunteers after an crafting event at Pacifica Sunrise.

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!

Read more …

The First Birthday Celebration in Years

The First Birthday Celebration in Years

For nursing student Katrell Johnson, picking up cupcakes and balloons for a resident at Sun Village Homes for her 86th birthday felt like a natural gesture.

For Julia, the ensuing festivities became the first birthday she had celebrated in years.

Read their story

Volunteer and her Quilting Group Sew Quilts for Seniors

Volunteer and her Quilting Group Sew Quilts for Seniors

Helping seniors feel love with quilts

Judie Nance and her quilting group have donated more than 150 quilts to seniors in care centers around South Florida. They’ve made smaller quilts that fit on top of wheelchairs and quilts with zippers, buttons, and little animals for seniors in memory care.

“Oh, we’ve had tears and so much gratitude,” Judie said. “It makes you feel good that you could brighten someone’s day, give them something to smile about and to live another day.”

Read the story

Wheelchair Wash Connects Hearts and Boosts Confidence

Wheelchair Wash Connects Hearts and Boosts Confidence

Sometimes, the key to happiness is shiny wheels and simple conversation.

Members of Parkridge Church teamed up with Heart2Heart to host a wheelchair and walker wash at Park Summit Senior Living in Coral Springs.

They set up something like a car wash in a sliver of sunshine. They tied ribbons on the newly cleaned wheelchairs, and the seniors bragged about the free service for the rest of the day.

Read the story

Student Volunteers and Seniors Connect at Sun Village Homes

Student Volunteers and Seniors Connect at Sun Village Homes

Nursing student Maria Namendy shares he experiences volunteering at Sun Village Homes in Hialeah.

She’s learned the power of giving seniors a voice — just by listening to their stories.

She’s just one example of how West Coast University students are making a difference.

Read the story