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Spirits rise at Sunrise Senior Living

As an elderly woman walks in the door and hears a young boy?s voice, she is encouraged to join in with the group. ?Stretch to the side, now lift your arms up, and rotate your arms in a circular motion. Very good.?

While many students scramble to complete the required five hours of community service, Malachi Romero, ?09, chooses to spend his time at Sunrise Senior Living home just because he enjoys serving others.

?The best part about serving for me is the fact that I?m actually helping people in need,? Romero said. ?I?m finished with my five hours but I?m going to keep serving because I feel that I am actually making a difference there.?

Romero began working at Sunrise because of a suggestion made by Bible teacher, Tom McEntee.

?The main reason I volunteer at Sunrise is so that the residents there won?t feel forgotten,? Romero said. ?It makes them feel important to know someone cares about them.?

Romero helps serve dinner to the residents and he also helps lead exercises for the residents. He walks across campus to the retirement home located on the corner of Cedar and Alluvial.

?If we had more student volunteers, it would be very beneficial to the residents at Sunrise,? Romero said. ?We would invade them with kindness and they would know that people care about them.?

Romero believes compassion is required for service.

?I love talking with kids; I used to be a teacher,? Francis Smith, Sunrise resident, said.? Anytime kids want to come visit, I?ll be here to talk with them. When I?m not talking with kids, I take walks and I love to sing.?

Sunrise Assisted Living home is open to student volunteers who need community service hours and anyone who wants to serve.

?I?m definitely going to keep serving whether it be at Sunrise or other projects,? Romero said. ?It feels really good to know that I?m making an impact on other people?s lives.?

Other students seemed influenced to serve because of Romero’s example.

?I think that what he?s doing is really great,? Victoria Ball, ?08, said. ?I?m sure that the residents really appreciate what he does. More students should volunteer like he does.?

For more information on Sunrise or those who are interested in volunteering, contact Jennifer Tomez, Sunrise Senior Living Home volunteer director at (559) 325-8170.

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