How Appreciation Improved a Senior’s Life
The first time Ethel Blanchard walked into the lobby at Center on Halsted in 2014, she was feeling unappreciated as a senior and was searching to be around people who believed in her. Ethel explains that day was actually a new beginning in her life. Rather than planning ways to deal with the dark place she had to call home, Center on Halsted helped her discover ways to enjoy today and tomorrow. Over the last four years, Ethel’s outlook on life has improved dramatically. She is on staff at Center on Halsted in reception and finance, volunteers for the Senior Program at Center on Addison, and resides in the Town Hall Apartments.
When asked about what signified the turning point for her, Ethel shares, “Of course, that first day I walked in to the Center, and after that when I visited Center on Addison and Town Hall, the buildings were absolutely beautiful inside and out. But it was actually more than the bright, open, and modern spaces that welcomed me. It was the people at the Center who reached out to me. They helped me to realize I still have so much to offer, I am appreciated and respected, and I have a home here for many years to come.”
One of the people that Ethel makes a very special mention about is Britta Larson, Director of Senior Services, Center on Halsted. “Britta, as she does with all of us seniors at the Center, brought me into the circle of family here and at Town Hall. She listened to me and connected me with our Senior Employment Services and guided me through the interview process.” Ethel glows with a smile to add, “So look at me now! I am using my skills in reception and finance on the 2nd floor to pass forward the experience of making our patrons and clients feel welcome and to help them find their way. By working and volunteering here, I get to help people in my community like the Center helped me.”
What is Ethel planning for tomorrow?
“After every wonderful day, I go home to my cool apartment at Town Hall, surrounded by people who accept me for who I am, and I look forward to the next day. Because of Center on Halsted, everyday keeps getting better.”
Happy Valentine’s Day Ethel!