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Blog: Hospice Views

Volunteer Spotlight: An Olympic-sized Heart

Volunteer Spotlight: An Olympic-sized Heart - Leonard JonesMemphis is known for great things like Elvis, BBQ and the Blues.

When we talk about Memphis at Crossroads Hospice, we add one more great thing to that list: The Annual Nursing Home Olympics. The Nursing Home Olympics invites residents from dozens of area facilities to compete in a variety of fitness events.

It’s a huge undertaking that is only possible because of the enthusiastic, highly-organized and dedicated volunteers who pitch in to make a success.

One such volunteer is retired special education teacher Leonard Jones.

Leonard first heard about Crossroads in 2010 when a Volunteer Manager spoke at the school where he taught about the need for volunteers. A group of kids went to volunteer at a nursing home near the school, and Leonard went along. “Then I just started doing more of it on my own,” he says.

Now, when there is a special need for volunteers like caroling around the holidays, Veterans Day events or when a lawn needs mowing, Leonard gets the call. He shrugs off thank yous, saying, “I don’t think of it as a big thing. They need something done, so I go do it.”

At the Nursing Home Olympics, Leonard mans the horseshoe throw, cheering the residents on in their efforts. The Olympics are a highlight for him each year.

It’s something to see!” he enthuses. “Some of these guys really train! The opening is great, too. The parade is led by the oldest nursing home residents. They’re usually 103 or 104 years old.

He continues, “You see these men and women. They went to school. They served their country. They raised a family. It makes you appreciate seniors more.

Leonard advises new volunteers to start out with a fun event. “Just get your feet wet and have a good time,” he suggests. “Once you start volunteering, there are lots of enjoyable moments. They happen when you least expect them.

Special event and companion volunteers are needed at all Crossroads locations. If you would like to volunteer, please visit our Volunteer Application form or call us at 888-564-3405.

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