Congratulations to Foster Grandparent volunteer Lillie Nichols for receiving Senior Connection Center’s Salt & Pepper Award! The Salt & Pepper awards were created by the Senior Connection Center as a tribute to the late Honorable Claude Pepper. The Salt & Pepper awards are given to three individuals that meet criteria in categories of Health & Wellness, Arts & Entertainment, or Community Service & Volunteerism.
Lillie Nichols won the award for Community Service & Volunteerism based on her decade of service with Foster Grandparents! Grandma Nichols always goes above and beyond to enrich the lives of everyone she meets – especially the underserved children with special needs in her community. What makes Grandma Nichols a shining star is not simply that she provides consistent mentorship, tutoring, and social – emotional support to her students through the Foster Grandparent Program. It is the kind of extra love and comfort she gives that sets her children on a path to a successful future.
When COVID-19 closed Grandma Nichols’ Head Start Site to traditional in-person volunteer service, she did not give up. Grandma Nichols once again showed up and showcased the guidance and lessons she teaches the children. She persevered and GEARED UP TO SERVE by learning how to use the internet, a tablet computer, apps, email, video conferencing, and more. It was not easy, but she preserved in order to continue serving the children in her community.
And that is not all! Following strict COVID-19 safety precautions, Grandma Nichols found ways to go out and get the materials she sought to make the most of every virtual session with the students. Over the most recent Holiday break, Grandma made special arrangements to safely drop-off baskets of goodies and materials to the children and their teachers. It was indescribable hearing the joy and excitement from Grandma when she called to tell us about her experience of being able to ‘see all the kids smiling faces.’ Something we can all be reminded to never take for granted especially during these unprecedented times.