One of the first volunteers to register was Virginia Gerald, a receptionist with University Advancement. Like Brown, she signed up to conduct wellness checks by phone with Concordia’s senior alumni population.
“I’ve made more than 60 calls so far,” says Gerald. “Most of the people I’ve spoken to are more than 80 years old, yet they are sharp and doing such a great job of exercising and staying positive. Everyone has been extremely happy and appreciative.”
Brown echoes this sentiment; she says the response has warmed her heart.
“I tell people that I’m calling to make sure they are okay and to see if they have any needs that are not being met,” says Brown. “Everyone I’ve spoken to was over the moon that we had reached out, and that someone cared. The Concordians often reminisce about their alma mater and share stories from their time here — it’s very touching.”
Brown recalls speaking to a gentleman in his 80s who was feeling overwhelmed. Both the man and his wife are diagnosed with significant medical conditions; he was having trouble keeping track of the many phone calls from different doctors’ offices.
“I suggested he keep a pen and paper by the phone, and every time someone calls, to write down the date, time, name of the caller and their reason for calling,” says Brown.
“It was a simple way for him to take back control. He told me ‘You know, Lovina, every time the phone rings, I’m going to think of you.’”