Relaxing with Residents: Students Volunteer at North Crest Assisted Living

A group of students volunteered at the North Crest Assisted Living home in Stevens Point to interact with elderly residents Saturday.

After piling into a campus van, and driving the short distance, the students spent time with the residents. The Student Involvement and Employment Office provided this volunteer opportunity, and is one of the many volunteer events they sponsor.

While at the home, activities ranged from keeping the residents company to playing games such as bingo or flippo.

SIEO volunteers play bingo with the residents at North Haven on Sunday.  Photo by Emily Hoffmann.

SIEO volunteers play bingo with the residents at North Haven on Sunday. Photo by Emily Hoffmann.

In the midst of a friendly bingo game, Frank Jelinski, the group’s comedian and long-time Wisconsin resident, told the group he was, “Happy to be alive and glad that the students come to visit.”

He was full of witty comments and kept conversations interesting throughout the afternoon. Each time Jelinski got bingo and received the corresponding piece of chocolate, he was quick to stash it in his breast pocket.

His quirks were a hit with the student volunteers, and residents like him created a truly enjoyable experience for everyone.

“Volunteering at the home was a good experience,” said senior Nicole Hillman. “Meeting new people and doing something good for the community at the same time.”

It was Hillman’s first time volunteering at the home and her friendly disposition added to the group.

Another resident, Ginny Hendrickson, vocalized her appreciation to the students who made the trip.

“I love all the humor and different personalities,” Hendrickson said.

Hendrickson had some quirks of her own. “All women love chocolate,” she told the group as she scored her first piece. She grew up in Plover, and shared plenty of stories about the old days.

Photo by Emily Hoffmann.

Photo by Emily Hoffmann.

When asked why students should volunteer, SIEO Service Events Coordinator Morgan Koth said,“Spending time with the residents allows volunteers to gain valuable life experience and a unique perspective on a variety of situations.”

“An event like this is a win-win situation for both the residents at the assisted living home and also the students who volunteer there,” Koth said.

These weekend afternoons are not only a great way to get involved and improve the community, but are a lot of fun with the right attitude. SIEO has two more trips to the home this semester and anyone interested can apply. The residents love having students around and it is a great chance to develop connections.

Harley Fredriksen

hfred935@uwsp.edu

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