by Olha Bernard
When I started working at The Senior Source, I didn’t realize how big and helpful this organization is. Although we only have about 50 employees, we also have more than 1,000 volunteers with an incredible amount of diversity in nationality, age, culture, and religion. And I was surprised to learn this includes a group of Ukrainian volunteers.
I am Ukrainian, I immigrated to the United States 17 years ago, but only recently moved to Dallas. When I lived in New York City and Chicago, I had whole neighborhoods of Ukrainian people. In Dallas, I had not yet met any Ukrainians, so I missed talking to people who speak my language and think about topics that are on my mind too. I wished for a sense of belonging, cultural understanding, and friends.
After beginning my employment with The Senior Source, I was introduced to a group of Ukrainian Foster Grandparent Program volunteers. It felt good to talk to them in Ukrainian and share the same thoughts. We talked about the war, about difficulties of immigration, and they told me about local communities like the Ukrainian church. We exchanged contact information and I have new friends! I also was excited to learn that the volunteer groups come to our agency for monthly meetings, so I will be able to see them regularly.
Find Your Community Here
One of my favorite things about The Senior Source is how we connect people, especially lonely older adults. My story of making new friends who relieve my loneliness and isolation, is only one of many such stories that happen because of The Senior Source. On a daily basis, a senior befriends one of her classmates in a technology class or a caregiver joins our support groups and learns she isn’t alone in struggling to care for her mother with dementia. This agency is responsible for such happiness in our community, and I am glad to be working in such a warm environment!