Ada Real was employed part time as a Senior Aide with Council Bluff’s Volunteer Bureau . She assisted the Administrative Director and Program Director. When not working at her job, she would stay late to help with any function or assist with any project. Beginning in October, she gave her time to sort through hundreds of names and needs submitted to the “Goodfellows” project.
Goodfellows was a combined project with the Daily NonPareil, the daily newspaper in Council Bluffs, seeking donations to fulfill less fortunate residents Christmas wish list. When not at the office, she was helping with programs and clients at Bethany Lutheran Home, driving clients to doctor appointments, being supportive to donors giving blood at the American Red Cross, putting together food packets for the Iowa SHARE program, taking supplies to MOHM’s Place (a homeless shelter), taking a shift with marketing vendor booth, mentoring elementary school children, and taking part in RSVP Speak-Up program for 5th grade children. Teaching Bible School at two churches was her “weekend” project.
In 2003, Real contacted the Visiting Nursing Association of Pottawattamie County (VNAPC) to offer her assistance. She began her volunteering at the VNAPC as an office associate and companion to clients in their Homecare, Homemaker and Maternal/Child departments. She also consulted with the Director regarding fundraising and took the 16-hour training course.
Real continues to be a wonderful support for Hospice clients and their family. Palliative care can be extremely difficult for many, including volunteers. The client, family, and friends are comforted by a compassionate and wise individual who listens well, is punctual, and understands circumstances. She is well-liked by the clients and is an inspiration to the entire staff. Since she began her Hospice journey, Real has served three families.
In addition, Real volunteers a shift at Health and Volunteer fairs, arrives early to monthly in-services to fix the coffee and stays late to clean up; she also packs back-packs with needed school supplies in preparation for Make A Difference Day. Because of her dedication to the community, Real has received accolades and certificates from the Volunteer Bureau, United Way and VNAPC.
Ada Real is an exceptional servant who has more than 50 years of volunteering at 80 years of age. With a basic education—she passed her GED at age 55—and humble beginnings, Real continues to shine as an outstanding volunteer and an example to all!