“Do good for others, and it may come back in unexpected ways.” This cliche proved true for volunteer digital coach Lauren Woolley. Throughout their Home Connect sessions, Lauren and her learner Luis worked on honing various technology skills (drafting an email, formatting text, etc.) that better enabled Luis to pursue job opportunities. When Luis landed a job at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic, Lauren was thrilled for him. The pair had been working together on his digital skills for a few weeks and had already become good friends. “I would say we hit it off quickly,” says Lauren. “He is so sweet and inquisitive.”
A couple of weeks later, Luis asked Lauren if she and her family had gotten their vaccinations yet. While she was eager to, Lauren knew it would be some time before the vaccine would be available to them. She was incredibly touched when Luis asked if she would like to be put on his friends and family list to receive the vaccine. Before she could contest, Luis insisted that there were plenty of extra doses and that he would be happy to get her and her sister an appointment. Soon Lauren and Luis were meeting in person (safely masked and at a distance) at the vaccination clinic!
“It has meant the world to my family. My sister has pre-existing health conditions that heighten her risk of infection … we are so grateful that she can now safely travel. It is also so touching that somehow the universe returns kindness!”
A California native and Cal Poly graduate, Lauren currently works in the Human Resources department at Google. When the pandemic halted her in-person volunteer activities with the Special Olympics, Lauren joined CTN’s virtual digital coach program. “I had this ache in myself to find a new opportunity where I could give back and get plugged into a community!”
Now coming up on their twelfth and final session, Lauren has worked with her learner Luis since December. One highlight for Lauren was seeing Luis connect with a family member for the first time during the pandemic. Before getting trained on his tablet in the Home Connect program, Luis had no way to communicate with friends and family. Now, he uses Zoom to watch movies and talk to all his friends. He even invited one friend to pop into his Home Connect session to meet Lauren! “This program definitely helps his ability to connect with others and soften that isolation we are all feeling,” Lauren adds.
We are excited to hear about yet another incredible connection fostered in the Home Connect program. Consider giving an hour of your week to a senior in need, and the universe may just gift you right back!