Kindred Volunteer Selected for National Honor

By Kindred Healthcare

 Lorraine Oakes, AHCA Adult Volunteer of the Year, 2013 Lorraine Oakes, AHCA Adult Volunteer of the Year, 2013 

 

It was 23 years and more than 700 miles ago that Lorraine Oakes was bitten by the volunteering bug. Then a 40-something in Titusville, Florida, Lorraine had her first opportunity to volunteer in a nursing center, and she never looked back, despite a re-location to North Carolina. Now, more than two decades since she first set foot in the facility, her tireless devotion to the residents at Kindred Transitional Care and Rehabilitation – Elizabeth City earned her the respect of colleagues who nominated her for the 2013 American Health Care Association (AHCA) Volunteer of Year distinction, which she won.

Lorraine, who is at the nursing center each day for about five or six hours, enjoys the opportunity to provide an encouraging voice, help a resident do his crossword puzzles or just be in the right place at the right time when people need her.

“I am grateful and thankful to the family of people at Kindred in Elizabeth City as well as the Lord for giving me an open door and an opportunity to volunteer,” she said.

Lorraine said she enjoys hearing the residents’ stories.

“It’s unbelievable what they’ve been through,” she said. “Some of them are over 100 years old. They remember incredible times in history. They had many children. I love to let them tell me about it.”

Lorraine encourages others to get involved in volunteering.

“Don’t be afraid to try it,” she said.

The reward goes both ways, she said.

“Not a day goes by I do not meet at least one person to help, or who has in fact helped me,” she said. “We all become family. Strangers become friends. The door is open for you, too. May you be available and go.”

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Name: Lorraine Oakes
Honor: AHCA Adult Volunteer of the Year, 2013
Age: 66
Hometown: New York City
Current City: Elizabeth City, NC
Family: Husband, grown daughter
Interesting Fact: A resident once told her the best Christmas gift he ever got was an orange.