Over the past two years, Ansley Reagan, a recent cum laude graduate of Lee University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Telecommunications, has made a direct impact on her community. According to Ansley, she has always had an interest in and compassion for the elderly. These interests inspired her to launch Project CARE.
The mission of Project CARE is to establish community alliances that will promote interaction with the elderly, and to raise awareness for elderly citizens living in unhealthy conditions or that simply have no family support.
She created a resource website: www.projectcaretn.com. It informs Tennesseans of volunteer opportunities with elderly in their community. This website also serves as a resource page for the elderly and their caregivers. She has also instituted an intergenerational reading program with the Cleveland Public Library and the Girl Scout Council of Moccasin Bend. Participants check out books from the library and read to any elderly person of their choice. Once they read six books, they receive a “fun patch,” which she designed, that is worn on their uniform.
In addition, Project CARE schedules Beauty Days for Seniors at area nursing homes assisted living facilities. She enlists the help of students from area beauty schools to provide manicures, facials, and makeovers for the residents. The Adopt-A-Grandparent Partnership between Life Care of Cleveland Lee University is scheduled to start in the fall of 2006. Lee students are required to perform community service every semester until they graduate. This project matches a student with a resident. The pairing will involve scheduled interaction with the elderly person and student for the duration of their college career. Her efforts have instituted a permanent option for students to direct their service at her university. She is also a volunteer for the Tennessee Senior Olympics.
The most impressive component of Ansley’s program is the advocacy and support for the Volunteer Guardianship Program. For the past two years, Ansley has been the legal guardian of an elderly woman whom she visits weekly to ensure that she is being properly cared for; and Ansley meets regularly with her social worker to discuss her progress and state of well-being.
This past Spring, Ansley organized a benefit concert to raise funds and gain exposure for the Volunteer Guardianship Program. It raised $1,115 for the program and the in-kind donations totaled $7,000.