April 11, 2019
Assisting Her Peers: EveryStep Senior Companion Volunteer Sue Lyons
At 77 years old, Sue Lyons knows how to keep herself busy: volunteering.
Back in 2015, Lyons was volunteering at the senior center in Johnston when she learned about EveryStep's Senior Companion volunteer program.
"Julia [Tiedeman, Senior Companion program manager] came and spoke to the group about volunteering and left a flyer," Lyons recalls. "I looked into it and joined."
EveryStep's Senior Companion program matches senior volunteers (55 years and older) with older adults in their neighborhood. Volunteers in the program provide friendship, support and transportation to elders in their community.
"Because of my age, I'm a senior myself, I thought I could relate to them," Lyons recalls of her decision to broaden her volunteer horizons. Lyons continues to volunteer at Crown Point Community Center.
While Lyons suffered a stroke in the summer of 2017 and took a year off from volunteering, she's back at it, visiting six women in Johnston.
"I help in anyway I can," she said. "We do a lot of thrifting, going to doctors appointments, shopping, I even just took one to the tax man."
Lyons has even been able to revisit her past woman's retail experience, taking one of her clients to purchase a new wardrobe.
"My ladies are so thankful because we are able to help them," she said. "If their family lives far away they have a hard time getting places. We can help. They are always thanking me."
"The relationships with these women, they're like my second family," Lyons notes.
Lyons encourages any seniors looking to get out in their community to consider volunteering with EveryStep.
"If you like people at all you would enjoy working with these seniors. They bring joy to my life and that's why they get out of it, too," Lyons said.
EveryStep is seeking seniors ages 55 years old and older in Polk and Warren counties who would like to earn extra money while serving older adults in their neighborhood through the Senior Companion program.
Senior Companions earn an hourly, tax-free stipend, holiday pay, paid time-off, mileage reimbursement and more. A Senior Companion earns an extra $200-$400-plus a month. Those interested are encouraged to call 515-558-9957or email Jen at JAnderegg@EveryStep.org