Michelle’s Story of Kindness

“These little old ladies saved my life, and I add a little joy to theirs.”

Michelle Girouard


Michelle’s story

Michelle’s grandmother, Cecile Allain, always had a strong presence in her life. Growing up, Michelle spent a lot of time baking with her mother and grandmother. Her grandmother’s house was always a comfort, and she was ever ready with kind words and loving hugs.

When she got older, Cecile moved to a retirement home that happened to be next door to Michelle. They remained close and Michelle would visit as often as she could. She started volunteering there during a difficult time in her life, and she realized that her visits were cheering up the residents as well as herself.

After her grandmother’s passing, Michelle still feels a connection to the retirement home and the seniors who live there. She continues to visit as often as she can to help bring a little joy into the seniors’ day by playing bingo with them and helping with different activities.

How do you help out at the retirement home and what do you like most about volunteering there?

I help the seniors eat, play games, bake and a lot of times, I just listen. They have such interesting stories to tell, but not a lot of people to tell them to. Knowing that I can make someone’s day better is the best part of volunteering.

What inspired you to volunteer at the retirement home?

I began volunteering there in 2013 after I left my last job. It was a challenging time for me, and for at least three months, I was depressed and found it difficult to even leave my house. Then the events coordinator at my grandmother’s retirement home asked if I could help plan the Christmas events with her. I think she knew that I needed some help. Being with other people and having a reason to get out of the house really cheered me up. I was able to talk about my problems to these women who had a lifetime of experience. Just knowing that I had people to listen to me was enough.

I started going there daily to help and found myself feeling better in no time. By just being there—talking, listening, playing games and helping out—I really felt like I was getting back to my old self. These little old ladies saved my life, and I add a little joy to theirs. I formed special bonds with them.

I’ve lost several of my new friends since then, including my grandmother, but I learned important life lessons along the way. I will be forever grateful for that.


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