A home in Carroll is getting a much-needed improvement, but it’s the smile of the homeowner that outshines the gloss of a fresh coat of paint. Eleven volunteers from American Home Shield (AHS) dedicated a day of service to Tom Stewart. Stewart is a wheelchair-bound Elderbridge client and former AHS employee who had been searching for a way to get the much-needed maintenance done that he could not do himself.
The group from the Carroll AHS branch reached out to Elderbridge when it decided to take part in a larger day of volunteerism going on across the country giving some of their time and talents to the communities they call home. After some consideration it was decided that Stewart’s need for a new coat of paint on his detached garage would be chosen for the group’s project. Stewart, who spent 10 years working with AHS renewing customer contracts and helping people maintain their homes, said “This means a lot to me, especially that it is American Home Shield [since] I used to work there.”
Stewart said that he had other groups offer to paint his garage in the past but they had to cancel their plans due to weather delays or last minute problems. He also noted that Elderbridge has helped him live independently by connecting him with caregivers that assist him with things he has difficulty doing alone. Amber Schulze, an Elderbridge case manager in our Carroll office said, “One of the hardest things to get volunteers for is chores.” Schulze also pointed out that things like raking leaves and home maintenance are sometimes forgotten as basic needs for living independently and with dignity. Paying someone to take care of these services is not always an option for seniors who are on fixed incomes.
American Home Shield helps out in other ways
In addition to painting Stewart’s garage, AHS made donations of 93 new first aid kits, which were delivered at local meal sites. The company also donated a brand new washer/drier for an individual whose old units had broken down and provided delivery drivers for two Meals on Wheels routes. Over 1000 American Home Shield volunteers took part in dozens of projects across the country on August 19th.
Article written by Andrew Buenger, Elderbridge VISTA