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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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For Individuals > For Current Members and Volunteers >
 
Stories of Service

 

Senior Corps

 
Ruth Harris
Senior Companion Program, Denver, CO
 

At 83, Senior Companion Ruth Harris of Denver volunteers a minimum of 20 hours a week, providing encouragement and support to families facing the death of a loved one. During the past 12 years, Ruth has tended to the needs of 1,100 elderly individuals.

As a young woman, Ruth was gifted with a singing voice and sang in theater for nearly four decades. Eventually, she lost her voice and needed something to do. That’s when she discovered the Senior Companion program. Today, Ruth volunteers three days a week providing companionship and care to Alzheimer’s patients and people living with HIV.

“Senior Companions are there to be more or less a companion…someone to lean on….It seems to be my calling for them to give me the ones that were most severe.”

Ruth Harris believes that people of all walks of life need someone. She has been that “someone” for a husband and wife who were both diagnosed with cancer, for bed-ridden patients who’ve lost their ability to speak, for an elderly woman who had been abused, for those who often have no other family or support system.

“I take them out in the sun, read to them, even sing to them with the voice I have left.”

One of her most challenging volunteer experiences involved two frail men under her care who refused to eat. “They had gotten to the point where they had completely given up… People get tired of the pain or whatever it might be.”

It took Ruth almost three months to get one of the men to eat. “Eventually I won him over, and (every day after that) he would look for me.”

Ruth is so committed to those she helps care for that she’s often beside them right up until their passing. Her greatest ambition in life is to give of herself.

 

 
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