Each year at our Green Ribbon Gala, Lori's Hands' business partners present scholarships to two students who win our annual essay contest. This year, Sarah Slimski and Shay Lukas were those students. We are thrilled to share Sarah’s essay with you today, and will soon be sharing Shay's! Thank you to this year's scholarship sponsor: GRALC Global Regulatory Affairs Labeling and Compliance Services.
Through Lori’s Hands I have had the amazing opportunity to be introduced to my clients, Jewel and Marge. My friend, Meghan, and I were paired with Jewel and Marge at the beginning of last year. Since then, we’ve made weekly visits to get groceries, run to the post office, pick up their newspaper and dinner, and help with some outside yard work. After our first few visits, I grew an attachment to both Jewel and Marge. We began doing things like baking cookies, making Easter eggs, and just sitting at their home and chatting. I could tell right away that this was no longer just volunteering for me because I genuinely love seeing Jewel and Marge every week. Meghan and I even call them our grandparents because they treat us like their grandchildren.
Marge has become so important to me, I find myself calling her every week just to talk about my classes or to share how my week is going. And I am happy that I can be there for Jewel and Marge just as much as they have been there for me. From bringing Jewel his favorite cinnamon rolls and a get well card when he wasn’t feeling well, to hand painting a birdhouse to give to Marge at the end of last semester, to going for a walk with Jewel and watching his favorite movies; I have so many great memories with them both.
Jewel and Marge were both theater teachers and remain passionate about helping students learn and grow. so I have had the opportunity to learn so much through them. Meghan and I are both in theater classes, so we will talk about the plays we are watching with them -- Jewel can talk for hours and hours about plays and his time teaching. I also love to listen to Jewel’s stories about growing up in Florida, playing baseball, and being in the Navy.
A couple of weeks ago, Jewel had a Speech language pathologist come to the house and help him with feeding and swallowing. They allowed me to shadow the speech pathologist because Speech pathology is my major and something I am very passionate about.
Being involved in Lori’s Hands has been one of my favorite experiences at the University of Delaware thus far. It has really helped me to realize how much I enjoy making other people feel good, and it has given me confidence that when I am a Speech language pathologist in the future I will be able to succeed. Volunteering with Lori’s Hands has not only gotten me closer to achieving my career goals, but has given me two lifelong friends, or as I call them “my grandparents.”