In most cases 80 and 90 year olds might rely on volunteers to help them, but in this case they are volunteering to help others. They are residents of The Palace Coral Gables, and they give of their time at local area hospitals, the local Fairchild Gardens and other area facilities, to help give back to the community. Their work gives them a sense of importance, and helps them to stay young at heart. Below are a few stories from the volunteers themselves:
Stan and Marsha Kolberg
Volunteer organization: Baptist Hospital of Miami.
Age: Stan will be 92 in May, and Marsha will be 86 in April.
Why do they volunteer: We enjoy doing the work and helping people. Baptist has a great reputation for using volunteers and has closed to 600 volunteers. It’s a great place to work and you get a free lunch too.
Volunteer history: Even when I was working we volunteered. You are helping someone, doing good and meeting nice people who also volunteer. Marsha volunteered at the Jewish Home (Douglas Gardens) for 27 years and opened their ice cream parlor. I volunteered there for 18 years and 8 years at Fairchild Gardens.
Volunteer time: We volunteer one day a week for about 5 hours a day. It used to be two days but now that we are older; we just do one day a week. We’ve been volunteering at Baptist for eight years.
What do they do: We are constantly running errands. It’s anything to help the staff and can be getting specimens to the lab, getting blood for nurses, taking supplies all over the building, delivering gifts from the gift shop to patients’ rooms and assisting visitors and staff with directions. We estimated we may cover four to five miles a day.
Does The Palace lifestyle help you as a volunteer: Certainly it’s easier now living at The Palace? We’re very tired when we come home and it’s nice not having to worry about dinner. We can just go to the Restaurant.
Dr. David Keil
Volunteer organization: Fairchild Gardens
Why do you volunteer: I enjoy getting my hands dirty, be among the beautiful flowers and work with very nice people.
Volunteer history: Always been a volunteer. I come from Washington DC and volunteered wherever I could especially at The Smithsonian Gardens.
Volunteer time: One day a week, 4-5 hours a day. Volunteering at Fairchild for about six months
What do you do: I’m involved with the orchids. Fairchild received orchids from the American Orchid Society when they relocated the orchids from Delray. I work with three women repotting, cleaning and adding to the collection.
Greatest satisfaction: If you are in the garden; there is nothing wrong.
Volunteer organization: Fairchild Gardens Science Village
Why do you volunteer: Science is my field and I wanted to participate in some way and be involved in science. I enjoy contributing and being part of a team of people contributing to a beautiful project. Fairchild has so many dedicated volunteers. It’s very fulfilling.
Volunteer history: I have always contributed in some way connected with science –it may have been organizing a science club at a school when I was a teacher. At this point in my life I feel I have the time I didn’t have before.
What do you do: I work in the science lab in micro propagating seeds of orchids and am contributing the beautification projects at Fairchild. I’ll also help whenever Fairchild has bigger events in anyway they need.
Greatest satisfaction: Using a variety of my skills (I have a PhD in science and was a gifted teacher in Miami Dade County for over 25 years.) Want to participate in science and know I am helping to bring back the orchids and foliage of Dade County.
Does living at The Palace help you as a volunteer: I feel I have the time now because I always haven’t had the time. You can now do what you want with your time.
THE PALACE – Coral Gables
The Palace Coral Gables (www.palacecoralgables.com) is one of eight Senior Living communities that comprise The Palace Group, which provides upscale living to the over 50 set throughout Florida and Israel. The Palace Coral Gables was named a Best in American Living award.
Inspired by the world-renowned George V Hotel of Paris, The Palace offers 240 one and two-bedroom residences as well as several penthouses for independent living, impeccably decorated public and private spaces, 24 hour surveillance and security, 5-Star dining prepared by a Master Chef, creative activities, transportation, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and a separate assisted living floor for those needing special services and care.
Note To Media: Reporters, photographers and video crews are invited to interview seniors about their volunteer work; Photos are available. For arrangements please contact: Janis Ehlers, The Ehlers Group, 954-726-9228, JREAssoc@aol.com