Monday, July 14, 2008

Helping Charlie

"Charlie and Sandra" moved into their new senior villa about 8 months ago. Like many times, the move was very quick due to declining health reasons. Charlie and Sandra were unable to prepare or move themselves, and their family was unavailable. They relied on hired movers to pack and get their items to their new home.

Eight months have past and Charlie and Sandra still have a garage packed with items that have never been unpacked. Some items are keepsakes and collections lost amid the piles.

Both Charlie and Sandra use motorized scooters to get around, and all these boxes make it quite challenging. There are paths for them, though ideally these things need to be sorted and removed.

This was going to be another dirty job. Thought I would snap a shot of me in action - Bandana, respirator and ready to get messy. Some people think I'm crazy for doing these really gross projects, and this one was right up there with the best of the worst ones.

Then Charlie returns home after lunch, sees the amazing progress made in his garage and he begins to cry a bit. He tells me a bit of his story, how thankful he is for the amazing life he has had to date and the frustration he is beginning to feel for the loss of his wife whose dementia is becoming quite advanced.

At this point, I begin to forget all the nastiness of my job and I am thankful for being able to make a huge impact in Charlie's life. His garage is cleaned out, keepsakes found and collections safely stored. The majority of items and boxes were damaged and needed to be trashed. Those things that could be used were donated and three crates of canned goods will be taken to Cherry St Mission, a local food bank.

Couple hours into this project I did think to myself:
"I must be nuts for getting involved in this."

Though now looking back, it's projects like this that truly make me realized why I do what I do: Helping people feel better about life.

Why do you do what you do?

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