Community Stories

A Volunteer’s Strength Helps a Senior Move

August 29, 2023

Volunteer’s strength helps senior move

For 84-year-old Marilyn Kerr of Boca Raton, moving to a new home felt impossible.

She had sold or given away most of her furniture because her new home would be already furnished. But she still had plenty of boxes stuck in storage. And she no longer has the physical strength to do all the lifting and activity involved in moving.

“I couldn’t do it by myself,” Marilyn said. “It was impossible. If I’d had money, I could have gotten movers, but I couldn’t afford it.” 

At a loss, Marilyn took to the internet and found Heart2Heart. The first few potential volunteers were eager, she said, but they lacked the appropriate transportation to do this particular job. 

Then Heart2Heart connected her to one volunteer who helped her sort through some boxes at her storage unit, and another, Greg, who was a godsend on moving day.

“It was Greg who suggested that I rent a U-Haul, and I must compliment him because I had a whole lot of boxes, and the way he moved those boxes that day was a labor of love,” Marilyn said. 

“It was like he had supernatural strength. And he put his all into it. I really appreciated him.”

Taking charge of a problem

It was more than just Greg’s muscle power that made such an impact. Although Marilyn had called ahead of time to reserve a moving truck, when she arrived there on moving day, the U-Haul said they didn’t have any trucks available for her.

She had to be out of her storage unit by the first of the month or else be charged another full month’s rent, so there wasn’t time to wait to move another day.

“They had my name and reservation, but they didn’t have a single truck,” Marilyn said. “I didn’t know what I was going to do. I felt so helpless. But Greg arrived and he took control.”

Greg called a different U-Haul location, drove there, and rented a truck that day under Marilyn’s name. From his confident, strong voice to his get-it-done attitude, Marilyn was so grateful for Greg’s intervention. 

After the truck was finally rented, Greg was the one to drive the truck and move all the boxes. Marilyn said she could not have driven that big truck by herself.

“I believe it was a God thing because I had no way to get those things out of storage otherwise,” Marilyn said.

Aging with bravery

It’s difficult to get older, which is why it is so important to have organizations who help seniors like Heart2Heart.

“You don’t have the strength and energy that you had before,” Marilyn said. “It’s something nobody can really prepare you for until you enter into it. Growing old is not for sissies. You have to be brave.”

One of the hardest things is the lack of energy and strength, she said. You can’t just do all the things you need to do anymore without plenty of rest, and that can be frustrating. 

Fortunately, Marilyn still has friends she can talk to on the phone, and they commiserate about getting older together.

But there is a huge need for more volunteers and services for seniors, Marilyn said. Sometimes it could be a big task like moving. Other times, seniors just need someone to sit and talk to, she said.

Make a difference in the life of a senior like Marilyn by becoming a volunteer.

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 Glamorous Stories of a 1940s Broadway Dancer

The Glamorous Stories of a 1940s Broadway Dancer

Lillian Flowers is 98. She lives alone in Fort Lauderdale.

She used to dance on Broadway.

While volunteer Steve Retford is helping her get services she needs, he gets a front row seat to glamorous stories from Broadway, filled with famous theater producers, celebrities (she dated Dean Martin briefly), and traveling through a life of show biz.

We extended his front row seat so you can listen to Lillian’s stories too.

Heart2Heart Welcomes New Staff — in a New Space!

Heart2Heart Welcomes New Staff — in a New Space!

In case you haven’t met them in person yet, we introduced the new additions to our team:

– Rosevel “Rosie” Castro, outreach coordinator
– Peighton Stone, dietician and intern with us from Nova Southeastern University for eight weeks

Some of our team got new roles, too. Check out all the details about that — and our new office!