Community Stories

Volunteer of the Month Gina Bell is blessed through serving

November 18, 2022

Our volunteer of the month for November is Gina Bell, who goes above and beyond by spending extra time with seniors when she delivers Food for Hope meals.

Gina makes the deliveries with her 12-year-old daughter, Abi, on Saturdays. The experience has been a special time of service between the mother and daughter. 

“Yes, we are helping them, and they’re very grateful for the meals. But it’s also a blessing for us,” Gina said. “That part has been encouraging and a little bit of a surprise in how God has been doing that.”

Spending time with the seniors and hearing their stories allows Gina and Abi to see things from a different perspective. 

“Then my daughter and I have conversations about it, and that’s another blessing,” she said.

Abi has three older brothers who are young adults now. When they were kids, Gina used to take them to nursing homes to visit seniors with a group of other homeschooled kids. 

Abi heard stories about the visits. Once, all the kids tried to tell the seniors jokes, but they didn’t laugh. Then Gina’s youngest son, who’s always had a strong voice, told them the joke about the chicken crossing the road to uproarious laughter. 

The adults realized that the problem wasn’t the quality of the jokes but the volume of the speaker. 

“It was so funny to me,” Gina said. “I told him, ‘God gave you that voice and he’s going to use it for his glory, but we have to train it.’”

As time went on, Gina and her husband began visiting a different nursing home, just the two of them. When the pandemic hit and closed all care centers to visitors, Gina was in Mexico, finalizing the adoption for her daughter.  

She had signed up to be a Heart2Heart volunteer, but never acted on it, despite encouragement at her church from Heart2Heart CEO Juan Gallo. 

When Gina saw the call for Food for Hope volunteers, she asked Abi if she would like to make the deliveries with her. Abi agreed. 

One of the women they delivered to was a fellow Riverside Church member, whom Gina knew. Aside from the meals, Gina helped drive her to doctor visits and considers her great friend.

Gina was blessed to be a part of her story when the woman began working after a long injury and decided she didn’t need the meals. 

“That was such a closure. I thought it was so perfect,” Gina said. 

We thank Gina and Abi for the time and care they’ve invested in the lives of seniors!

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 …

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
https://www.heart2heartoutreach.org/community-stories/student-volunteers-at-sun-villiage-homes

118 Volunteers Needed as Food for Hope Relaunches

118 Volunteers Needed as Food for Hope Relaunches

Food for Hope is BAAACK!!! And the volunteer-led meal delivery program is bigger than ever!

So we need your help!

To deliver meals to Broward County seniors, we need 118 volunteers to give 2-3 hours each week.

This month, our CEO Juan Gallo made a special appeal to Broward County churches for this community-wide effort.

Read about the (relaunched!) Food for Hope

Big Ideas and Small Acts of Kindness

Big Ideas and Small Acts of Kindness

We were inspired by the story of Rashaad Green, an inspirational student we met at a college volunteer fair. At 22 years old, he is helping homeless people, including a 64-year-old senior, and he’s started a club that will bring art therapy to seniors. He dreams of one day curing cancer and opening a permanent and temporary housing facility for the homeless.