“My name is Ashley, I am 17, and I am a rising senior at Huntington Beach High School. I was a volunteer at Alzheimer’s Family Center (AFC) this past summer. I came twice a week for two consecutive months. I love doing art so I assisted Gloria Martinez, the Activities Coordinator, with the art therapy sessions.”
Megan is the Community Liaison at Vitas Healthcare and partners with AFC’s New Connections Club, the center’s early-stage program. She recently received the Spirit of Volunteerism Award for her generous and amazing work.
Megan has been partnering with AFC for over three years. Every Tuesday, she leads the activities for New Connections.
“We garden a lot with the group,” she says. “Then we cook with the herbs and vegetables that we grew. For example, we’ll make pesto with the basil, ice cream with the mint, or omelets with the chard. Once, we grew one giant lemon and were able to make a lot of lemonade out of it.” She explains that most patients really enjoy being out in the garden. “Some love watering, others are great at pruning, but above all, they love to cook!”
When asked what she enjoys about her time at AFC, Megan replies: “The patients and the staff, especially Activity Coordinator Kathleen Brambila! I love our group and our time together every week. Our group gardens in the patio: planting, weeding, pruning, watering, and harvesting. Everyone seems to either nurture their green thumb or discover that they have one! When we are waiting for the plants to grow, we do art projects or activities centered around holidays. I love that no matter what activity we are doing, we are sharing our memories, traditions, and talents with each other in our little group. It’s absolutely beautiful to me. Kathleen is my sidekick, and she is indispensable in helping me plan and execute the weekly activities.”