Recently I’ve had the privilege to volunteer and become involved with the Wesley House Community Center here in Knoxville. The Wesley House provides academic, emotional, and spiritual support to 78 at-risk inner-city students and fellowship and support to 25 deserving inner-city senior citizens. Their mission is tremendous and the staff, along with the board of directors, are passionate about it.
Last week I stopped by the Wesley House to meet and hang with the senior citizens that gather there every Friday at noon. The group of senior women, who are also known as “The Grannies,” are picked up by a bus and taken to the Wesley House, served a meal, guided through a craft project, and on occasion are entertained with a crazy round of Bingo!
They are the sweetest and funniest group of women you will meet. In the 45 minutes I spent with them, I realized these Grannies are a hoot – energetic and full of life. They are also compassionate and kind. Even in the midst of loneliness, aches and pains, they are a lively bunch and so very tenderhearted.
The women spoke so lovingly of the Wesley House staff and volunteers who give of their time and invest in their lives. One woman said she had been coming almost every Friday for 6 years and it’s still the highlight of her week. For some of these women in the group, this is one of the very few times in the week they are able to get out and about and mingle with others. The Wesley House has created a community for these women who may not otherwise have one and I could tell they treasure it so.
The Grannies surely brightened my day and I plan to visit and serve the ladies every few weeks when time allows. Such a reminder to live life to the full and that every day is a gift.