Volunteer crafts her way into the hearts of seniors
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As the saying goes, “someone may not remember your name, but they will always remember how you made them feel.” At Manorhouse Assisted Living and Memory Care in Richmond, that saying holds true; talk to residents like Anne Bowen, who absolutely love Vassi Booth.
“Oh, she is great. She got so many different things for us to do each day, and she keeps us busy. I mean, I look forward to her coming in. I know she’s got a family, I know she’s got a home, but to take time out to be with us - that’s good. She’s looking out for us.”
“They can feel her warmth. Residents here all communicate differently, but they can pick up on energy, and they can feel Vassi’s energy. They understand how much she’s here just to see and love them. Booth isn’t an employee; she is a visitor,” said Maggie Timblin, director of memory care at Manorhouse
Vassi says her aunt is a resident at Manorhouse.
“Little by little, you don’t just visit with her - you start to get to know all the other ones. Then, they just all pulled at my heart. I fell in love with all of them. So we started doing like fun stuff,” says Booth.
One day, everyone made their own vase with flowers.
For residents like Wayne, who wanted another option, Vassi’s always comes up with an alternative. She’s willing to do whatever it takes to pique their interests and get them involved.
“I like to always leave them with something that they’ve made that they can bring back to their room because then, it makes them feel important and worthwhile like they’re contributing some way to like a regular life,” says Booth.
At least twice a week, she comes in with new arts and craft ideas, snacks and lots of love.
“I know she spends a lot of her own personal time and money gathering supplies. She does outreach to other people in her community who want to donate. So that way, she has tons of supplies for any resident and staff,” says Timblin.
Vassi received the NBC12 Acts of Kindness award, receiving $300 and a $50 gift card to Mexico Restaurant. Vassi was elated and planned to use the money to reinvest in the residents.
What’s interesting about her commitment to Manorhouse and its resident is that her aunt no longer participates in the workshops. She contracted COVID, recovered, and is now in hospice. But that hasn’t deterred her from spending quality time with the men and women who are now family.
“She’s extremely one of a kind. We are blessed beyond measure to have her. I’ve never met anybody like her,” says Timblin.
Vassi says she’s the lucky one.
“My heart is full every time I walk in the door and every time I leave - that’s how I feel. I always leave with a smile on my face, and you know that I’m leaving thinking, what am I to do the next time?”
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