Volunteers make a difference: Amelia Fraser

We have several encouraging and wonderful volunteer stories across our three Hillcrest Healthcare Communities, and we’re so grateful for Amelia Fraser, who recently completed 280 hours of community service with our team.

Amelia is a junior at Maryville College. She participates in the Bonner Scholarship Program that provides scholarships to those who complete meaningful community service.

“Part of the scholarship requires two summers of service, and this was my second summer,” Amelia shared. “Last summer I was primarily at Love Kitchen in South Knoxville, and this summer I volunteered mainly at Beverly Park Place and Island Home with Hillcrest Healthcare. I worked a lot with the activities departments, helped do assessments and even got to work on a project with the corporate marketing team, updating welcome books for new residents.”

She helped both with group activities, and individual activities, taking the mobile activity cart from room to room, having conversations with residents and assisting with scheduled video chats with loved ones.

Amelia learned about Hillcrest Healthcare when she met Lavonda Cantrell, director of marketing and vice president of Hillcrest Healthcare Foundation, at a nonprofit job fair at Maryville College, and the rest fell into place. “Amelia is such a creative and compassionate person,” Lavonda shared. “Each day she volunteered with us, she had a smile on her face and made it her mission spread joy to our staff and residents. And she did! I will forever be thankful for the time Amelia spent with us and the positive impact she made.”

Amelia is currently majoring in general psychology with a minor in criminal justice and plans to attend law school where she wants to pursue civil rights law. So why did she choose a healthcare facility to volunteer? “My idea is that if I’m going to serve and protect the community, I have to get right in the middle of it to understand more. For civil rights – it’s incredibly important. How can I help unless I understand the needs? That’s how I’ve tied my Bonner scholarship volunteer service with my career goals,” she said.

She’s reinforced some big life lessons this summer, as well. “This experience has taught me to appreciate the smaller things in life and the people I have around me. It’s important, especially in long term care, that residents have opportunities to appreciate the things that make life wonderful. Even small acts of service can mean so much to someone else.”

Amelia hopes that others will consider pursuing community service. “If you have the skills to serve and help – even if it’s small – hop on the opportunity! I would also recommend Hillcrest Healthcare to other volunteers and scholarship recipients looking for a way to serve.”

Hillcrest Healthcare invites participants in the Bonner Scholarship Program and other programs such as Tennessee Promise, who need to full community service hours as part of the scholarship requirements to consider serving at one of the three Hillcrest Healthcare communities or the corporate office. Those who are interested should email Director of Business Development Diana Fisher at [email protected] or call 865-399-5659.

Amelia leaves us with these parting thoughts: “I really love that more schools and colleges are writing volunteer service into core programs. Service is a huge part of my desire to help contribute to a better future. It’s a great way for students to make connections and learn new skills and being a volunteer through the Bonner Program has been a great way for me to do both.”

We send a great big thank you to Amelia and wish her well as she heads back to college!