Sofia playing Housie.
Sofia was welcomed into the home with Gwen by her side, and she has now been a part of the aged care community in her home of Queenstown, New Zealand for five years.
“I just really wanted to give back to the community and to help people out,” Sofia said of her desire to be involved with the old people who have now become her “second family.”
Sofia quickly became an all-rounder, a favorite with the staff and residents alike.
“I used to play a lot of bowls and do arts and crafts with them. I helped the care givers give morning tea, and I’d read to the residents when they couldn’t read to themselves anymore,” says Sofia.
“The power to give is so much more rewarding than receiving,” says Sofia, who is now 12 years old. “Everyone should do it because it’s amazing to the see the reaction on their faces when you just talk to them or hold their hand.”
Sofia’s schedule has become busier now that she’s older but she still volunteers at the home as often as she can. Sofia was not only able to achieve her dream of helping people, but it also had positive effects in her life outside the facility.
“Because she was so young they said, ‘Ok, Mum, you better stay’ so it was something we actively did together,” says her mother, Gwen.
“We are really close from spending that time together. We’ve really bonded over this,” says Gwen. “It has been special to see how she’s blossomed and see what a difference she makes in other people’s lives and makes them all smile.”