July-Sept 2018 Newsletter Feature Story

Her Heart’s in the Right Place

Volunteer Gayle “Gigi” Simmons made her way around St. Ann Center’s Bucyrus Campus, patting backs, rubbing shoulders and giving hugs. When she reached Jerome, one of the adult clients, she stopped and looked at him closely. “His mouth was twisted,” she said, remembering. “So, I told the staff about it.”

 

Gayle "Gigi" Simmons

Her keen observation detected the early signs of a stroke. Jerome was immediately transported to the hospital. “He’s back here with us now, and he looks good,” Gigi said. “I was at the right place, at the right time.”

Gigi knew St. Ann Center was the right place for her. She came to the center three years ago through SER Jobs, a program that gives mature workers useful training through community service. On any given morning, you’ll find her making the rounds of the adult day care, going client-to-client pouring water and coffee. “I ask them how they’re feeling…let them know I’m glad to see them…maybe tell a couple of jokes,” she explained. “This is our bonding time.”

Forced to retire early after several eye surgeries, Gigi thought her vision problems might limit her opportunities. She needn’t have worried. “I was asked to help out at the reception desk,” she said. “I sat down and found somebody had enlarged the instructions so I could read them easily,” she said. “That’s the kind of place this is.”

“I always remind them, we’re family.” – Gigi Simmons

A few months ago, she unexpectedly needed to find day care for her 10-month-old godson. “Everyone was helpful, and I was able to enroll him at St. Ann Center,” she said. “I think the intergenerational idea is great. Whenever the children come around, the clients get wrapped up in the happiness.”

Gigi was recently honored as this year’s Bucyrus Campus Volunteer of the Year. “I just remind people that someone cares,” she said with a smile. “My prayer is ‘God, let them see your love through me.’ I believe that’s what He’s doing.”

Gigi’s story is just one example of how your connection to St. Ann Center helps enhance the lives of people of all ages and abilities. In the July-September issue of Seasons of Life, you will find more stories of the difference generous people like you are making at St. Ann Center every day.

 

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