Daily Point of Light #4519 Joanne Hickox
Having gained the trust of four of the most disconnected, cantankerous and skeptical senior citizens, Joanne arranged a “special social event” (a simple trip to the ice cream parlor), to give the seniors a chance to get to know one another, build friendships and a sense of community.
Almost to her amazement, these seniors soon wanted to start going out on a monthly basis, and as they became more secure and confident, they felt empowered to invite additional friends. As a result those first four, live-alone-at-home seniors soon multiplied to 40.
After another year of nurturing this precious group, which numbered nearly 100, they told Joanne that they wanted more than just social gatherings; they desired to have a real "purpose" in their lives again.
Joanne started with age appropriate, team-oriented, monthly community service days. All she had was an old borrowed van, just enough grant money to cover the cost of buying groceries to prepare lunch for the seniors and her determination to make a difference in the lives of seniors in her community.
Today, as Founder and Executive Director of Seniors on a Mission, Joanne Hickox serves more than 400 "Senior Saints" by providing them opportunities for local service trips.
"Senior Saints" find meaningful work, purpose, and friendships while lending their helping hands, engaging minds, and seasoned skill-sets to area charities, schools, and ministries.
Together they have had a huge impact. In 2010 alone, over 350 seniors participated in 131 service trips, volunteering slightly more than 13,000 hours of community service and touching the lives of more than 517,00 of the area's most deserving citizens. To date, the “Senior Saints” have served more than 24,000 community service hours and show no indications of slowing down, and they have Joanne Hickox to thank for bringing them together and helping them share their gifts of time and talent again.