Connie and David Amtower both lost their grandparents when they were young; however, they have always had the desire to bridge the generation gap and have a relationship with the more mature members in their community. They give their hearts and time to frail seniors and those who are disabled. The result of their volunteer service is allowing both groups to remain independent and keeping them in their own homes as long as possible.
The Amtowers assist seniors by running errands, helping with light housekeeping chores, providing shopping assistance, and other tasks as needed through the Growing In Home Volunteer Effort (GIVE), which is sponsored by Senior Services, Inc. in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Most of their clients need a substantial amount of help to perform everyday tasks. The Amtowers have also been known to prepare meals, take care of lawn work, shovel snow, deliver meals, and provide respite care. They both participate because they feel it is the right thing to do, it benefits the community, and it makes them feel good knowing they are helping someone else. Volunteering is ingrained in their lives.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Amtower work full time; however, they still find many hours to give to others. Last year, they donated 360 hours of service to the GIVE Program. Their labor of love saved the organization more than $5,000 that would have been paid to an employee. Performing odd jobs and handling responsibilities in their clients’ homes help the seniors to maintain their dignity along with keeping them independent. In addition to working with GIVE, the Amtowers are bell ringers for the Salvation Army at Christmas, they deliver Meals on Wheels on Saturdays, and they deliver food baskets at Thanksgiving. Mrs. Amtower is on the Board of her church and was a longtime volunteer for Kids Connection. Mr. Amtower performs with the Kalamazoo Community Choir and also makes opportunities for their clients to enjoy some of their performances.
The Amtowers truly care and work together as a team. They understand the need for intergenerational exchanges, so the Amtowers also actively recruit others to volunteer. The staff members appreciate them so much because they respond to any need, notify staff of any problems, and treat others with the care and respect they show each other. This couple works to be examples to others by their dedication and consistency. To those they help, their dependability is a precious commodity, and their faces are something to look forward to in an otherwise mundane life of a homebound senior. They were honored with The Golden Rule Award in the Adult Category.