12-year-old Jorja Boller is finally back for bingo at Good Samaritan Society - Beatrice in Nebraska. A big win for staff and residents.
“I love coming and seeing (residents) because they’re just really up and energetic and they’re really fun,” Jorja says.
The young volunteer’s calling to serve inside the long-term care location was off the board in the early days of the pandemic due to safety precautions. A tough pattern to break until recently.
Jorja has a long history with the Society. She says she's been volunteering for "about seven years-ish. Since I was like five or so."
“Oh she’s a sweetie. She’s a little sweetie,” resident Virginia Clift says.
‘Special little girl’
Activities supervisor Megan Overbeck says it was hard to keep Jorja away from the building over the past year.
“She’s a special little girl,” Megan says. “She definitely was one of the volunteers that was begging. 'What can I come do? I know I can’t come see the residents but what can I do because I miss them.'”
She found a way and even roped in her pony.
“His name is Peanut. He’s very, very, I don’t know how to explain him. He’s just his own character,” Jorja says. “They were all really excited because they hadn’t seen a lot of people. Then we were bringing our pony and they were like, ‘Wow!’”
From ponies to planting flowers on campus, she loves growing up here.
“Good Sam is a lot about bringing joy every day,” Robin Gascon, lead administrative assistant, says. “She bounces around here like she owns the joint and she does pretty good."
Always on the move and always putting others first.
“I’m completely vaccinated today, officially,” Jorja says.
‘Doing something for my community’
From wrestling to softball, volleyball, pageants and 4H, her calendar is full. Yet, she’s still here at least once a week.
“It makes me feel really happy about myself. It makes me feel like I’m doing something for my community and it definitely helps a lot,” Jorja says.
Megan can vouch for that.
“Volunteers are so beneficial to our facility,” Megan says. “She’s just so darn cute. The residents can’t say no to her."
Jorja enjoys brightening up resident Bonnie Oestrich’s afternoon with a nail-painting session.
“I’ve known Jorjie for a long time,” Bonnie says. “She’d be a good one to paint your house in a year or two when she grows up."
Lending a hand for a brush with kindness.
“I think it’s wonderful. She learned at an early age. We can always use a volunteer,” Bonnie says to Jorja. “We appreciate all you do."
“The ones that have been here a really long time and have known her, they’ve really grown and watched her grow to a nice young lady,” Robin says. “It’s really morphed into something special."
Special for everyone involved.
“A really fun place to come and visit. If you have one in your community, I definitely recommend coming and checking it out,” Jorja says.