JACKSON, La. – “If you want to touch the past, touch a rock. If you want to touch the present, touch a flower. If you want to touch the future, touch a life.” – Author Unknown
The Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs (LDVA) Louisiana Veterans Home (LVH) has two consistent volunteers, Edith Miller and Bettye Plitt, that touch the lives of its residents by hosting monthly socials for the past three-and-a-half years at the Jackson, La. home.
“We’d recently moved into the area and knew the veterans home was here so we wanted to come out once a month with baked cookies and coffee,” says Plitt about their reason for selecting the Reserve, La., home as the place they would volunteer their time.
“We usually get a better turnout when the music man is here,” says Miller referring to Mr. Johnny who plays country music for the LVH residents.
“The veterans are always so glad to see us,” says Miller with a smile in her eyes. “We usually try to do little themed decorations which they enjoy.”
Plight says they have covered a range of themes including: Mardi Gras, Eater, Valentine’s, and April showers, which have all gotten rave reviews from the residents who enjoy the attention.
“We recognize them and notice if someone is not here,” says Miller. She also acknowledges that they’ve lost many of the veterans they visited over the years, but they are glad they were able to add a little joy to their lives through these monthly socials.
The volunteer duo says they enjoy baking once a month because the gesture helps them bring more than just treats to the vets.
“They eat the cookies, but they eat up the attention even more,” admits Plitt. “They love when someone comes in, shows an interest, and really takes the time to listen to them.”
Miller and Plight use their personal funds to cover the costs associated with the baking on the treats and the decoration for their themed socials. But, they say they get more in return from spending time with these selfless men and women than the monetary costs they incur.
“They are just hungry for attention,” says Plitt. If you dote on them or joke with them, they absolutely love it!”
“We usually take the time to bring birthday and Christmas cards to all the residents, as well,” says Miller.
“It’s heartwarming to think of the service that all of these men and women have given and it’s just wonderful that we have a place like LVH to care for them,” says Plitt.
If you or your organization would like to volunteer at LDVA’s Louisiana Veterans Home, please call (225) 634-5265 and ask to speak the Activities Coordinator.