Submitted by Kath Pengelly, volunteer and advocate coordinator at Lifeworks
Beth began to volunteer at Lifeworks in October of 2010. She was new to the area, she wanted to help others, and because of her studies she wanted to learn more about people with disabilities. She has dependably continued, once a week, three hours per week, meeting people where they are at and providing them with something they hunger for, one to one time. Beth moves quietly from person to person getting to know each one as an individual, their interests, dislikes and communication styles. She knows who likes to have their hand held while the fingernail polish dries, who likes to do the same jigsaw puzzle each week, and which board games are the favorite.
In the last fifteen months, Beth has spent more than 140 hours getting to know people as friends, not someone with a disability. I asked her what made her come back week after week and she told me that she always feels welcome at our Burnsville center. She feels appreciated and enjoys helping others.
Beth’s studies are taking her in a new direction this next semester and she won’t be able to come back to Burnsville for her weekly visits until sometime next summer. I told her we will be waiting and that she is welcome anytime her schedule reopens. There will always be someone who would love to have Beth spend uninterrupted time playing a game, painting their nails, giving a hand lotion massage or doing the same puzzle.
Robert Frost ends his poem with these lines: I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference.
Thank you, Beth Huss, for making a difference in our lives. How about you? You could make all the difference to someone. Do you have time to volunteer; spending time with one person, getting to know what they enjoy, and perhaps making a new friend? Please call me, Kath Pengelly, at 651-365-3720.