Each year Jefferson Park at Dandridge is fortunate enough to have several Jefferson County High School students volunteer with us as part of their service learning class. We have students who will start with us their Junior year and continue through their Senior year. We have even had a lot of students who begin to work here as well, including a student from this year’s class Morgan Rainwater who is a meal assistant.
The group we have had this year is absolute angels. They have spent so much of this year with us giving back to our hard-working elders. Each of the students went above and beyond while volunteering with us, and they made friendships that will last a lifetime! The students were part of several activities in our community such as special parties, bingo, outside relaxation, reminiscing, and some even visit on their off days just to visit the elders. They even attended a Sock Hop at the school with the elders! All the students also do a special project with the elders. Jacob, a current student, plans to make dog treats with the elders then we are taking an elder and Jacob to deliver the treats to the Humane Society. Morgan, another current student, plans to have a small carnival in which the elders will get the chance to pie a Jefferson Park employee in the face! The students brighten our day when they are volunteering with our community, we’re thankful to be a service learning option.
Keep an eye on these young individuals, because they will do big things to come. We asked Elder Faye Sorrells her opinion of the JCHS students and she replied, “Lord, I wonder if any of the students realize what they have given us. Each day they come in and make us smile, even on the days our old bones hurt. They will and have already made a difference! Oh, and that Sock Hop…well I danced the evening away with some pretty handsome young men!” Our staff at Jefferson Park at Dandridge feel like Faye summed it up! We also want to extend a special thanks to Service Learning teach Mrs. O’Connor. She did so much for us over the course of the year, and we greatly appreciate her! The students take a role of support in each of our residents’ lives and show the elders so much love and heart in all they do for them.