Tom is one of our many volunteers, dedicated to our residents, working every day to help make the DuPage Care Center feel like home.
He and his wife have been married for 55 years. When she was diagnosed with a serious illness several years ago, he took care of her at home. But in 2019, it became clear that she needed more than he was able to provide by himself. With the help of a consultant, they found the Care Center. “We thought we’d try it for a while,” he says looking back, “but she liked it, so we decided to stay.” Since then, Tom and his wife have been a part of the community of volunteers and residents that make this place so special!
During the height of COVID-19-related lockdowns at the Care Center, Tom was unable to visit her. But now he visits every day! She is a member of the residents’ Garden Club and has a tomato garden, where they like to spend time together. Coming to see her so often has given him a chance to get to know many other residents, too.
As a Vietnam veteran, he’s found a group of fellow veterans that call the Care Center home, forming vibrant friendships with many of them. “These guys are usually quiet,” he explains. “But when they get together, they love talking and laughing about their boot camp days and the crazy things they used to do when they were in the Service. Two hours goes by really fast with these guys.”
Between spending time with his wife, the veterans, and other residents, volunteering at the Care Center has become a highlight of Tom’s week. And he wants others to know just how great it can be, too. “If you have the time, get more involved. Don’t be afraid. The more I go, the more I want to go.”
The next time you’re in the building, look out for Tom and thank him! We couldn’t do what we do without volunteers like him.