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Latest LaGray News
Dec 28, 2015
Dynamic duo of volunteers serve local senior center December 28, 2015 Save | Editor's note: Our final Holiday Helpers appears today. For the past six Mondays we have profiled local residents in The Journal who made extraordinary efforts to help others during the holiday season. We'll do it again next November. RANSON-Two days before Christmas, many people are still wrapping gifts or cooking for their family, but Charlotte Bennett and Peggy LaGray, two volunteers at the Ranson Senior Center, spent that day as they do most days of the year-talking to the seniors and doing whatever they can to help out. Amy Wellman, executive director of the Ranson Senior Center, said Bennett and LaGray have been volunteering at the senior center for five years. Article Photos Journal photo by Mary Stortstrom Peggy LaGray and Charlotte Bennett serve Christmas cookies to seniors at the Ranson Senior Center Senior center. "The seniors get attached to them, and the seniors don't like to see volunteers come in here who seem like they're doing it because they have to," said Amy Wellman, executive director of the senior center. "Charlotte and Peggy are here all the time and they've built up a relationship with the seniors, who are comfortable telling them things they might not tell me because (Bennett and LaGray) are closer to their age. " Wellman said Bennett helps out in the kitchen when she's needed and will often buy things for the seniors that may not be in the senior center's budget, and said Bennett brought in $100 worth of giftcards to give out for Christmas. LaGray "helps however she can," Wellman said, whether it's by bringing food over to someone who may have difficulty walking, leading exercise classes or just sitting with seniors one-on-one and talking. "These two ladies give and give and never ask for anything back," said Chasidy Rosa-Morales, the activities coordinator at the senior center who works closely with Bennett and LaGray. Bennett and LaGray, who live together in Charles Town, are both retired and said they chose to volunteer because they wanted to do something meaningful with their free time. "We started coming here after we retired and we saw the need. We didn't want to just sit. I'm the type of person who has to get up and do something, and there's a lot of need for the elders, as we call them," Bennett said. Bennett said seniors need companionship and they want to interact with people. She said they like to tell stories and reminisce, and appreciate having someone to talk to who will listen. "A lot of the seniors need that caring touch, too. You'd be surprised, but when you just gently touch them on the shoulder or give someone a pat on the back, they say, 'That feels so good. ' They don't get that kind of care at home," LaGray said. Bennett and LaGray are both devout Christians who say they feel "called to serve others" because of the example of selfless giving and loving others set in the Bible. Bennett said many of the seniors at the Ranson Senior Center go to church, and like having someone they can talk to about their faith. "They know how we feel about God, and they'll go to Peggy, especially, and ask her to pray for them," she said. "I think that has a lot to do with their willingness to talk to us. Also, you can tell either one of us anything and it's not going to go any further, and that means a lot because some people can't keep things to themselves. " LaGray said she is happy to fill any need she can, whenever she can, and said both she and Bennett come to volunteer at the senior center multiple times a week, every week. They usually arrive around 9 a.m. and leave around 2 p.m., but will stay and help the staff set up for activities and events in the evenings if they can. LaGray said she especially enjoys learning about the people who come into the senior center, because everyone has a different story and comes from a different background. "You'd be surprised what you find out about someone once you start talking one-on-one with them," she said. "One day, a lady came in with dog tags on. I asked her if she was in the military, and she said she was in the second World War and those were her original dog tags. She was a nurse. It's amazing to hear where people coming from and their stories. " Though she enjoys meeting people and making friends with the seniors, Bennett said both she and LaGray "have seen the sad side of things" at the senior center and worked with people who have Alzheimer's and dementia. Overall, though, Bennett said her experience volunteering at the senior center has been very rewarding. "If you go on vacation for a week or two, you start to miss people," she said. "We've met a lot of good people here and learned a lot about the people here. We're not from this area, but we've made a lot of friends. We'll run into people outside of here, at a restaurant maybe, and invite them to come sit with us. It's a good feeling. " "We don't ask for anything in return," LaGray said,"except that maybe one day, when we're older and in their position, somebody will take care of us and serve us. " -Staff writer Mary Stortstrom can be reached at 304-725-6581 or www.twitter.com/mstortstromJN .
LaGray Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where is LaGray's headquarters?
LaGray's headquarters is located at 2225 West Harrison St Ste E, Chicago.
What is LaGray's latest funding round?
LaGray's latest funding round is Incubator/Accelerator.
Who are the investors of LaGray?
Investors of LaGray include Chicago Technology Park.
Who are LaGray's competitors?
Competitors of LaGray include Tobira Therapeutics, Selecta Biosciences, Reata Pharmaceuticals, CoMentis, Koronis Pharmaceuticals and 11 more.
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