“I firmly believe we are put on this earth for a purpose, and it was 12 years ago when I learned my purpose.” Jean Olson, Resident Services Coordinator, describes the evening she was driving along 216th Street and could see the residents of Wesley Homes Health Center having dinner in their dining room.
After 35 years with Qwest, Jean was newly retired and settling into what her new life might look and feel like. Jean’s father had died quite young, and she had stepped into the role of providing for her mother.
However, Jean’s mother passed a few years before she retired. She was feeling gloomy and knew there was something more for her. Observing the residents while they were dining sparked a desire within, and she inquired about volunteer positions at Wesley Homes Des Moines.
Jean found a part-time position in Environmental Services for four hours each day with an opportunity to interact with residents as she processed work orders. She applied, got the job and the rest is history. She has been with Wesley Homes ever since, serving the residents in many different capacities.
Jean has found her rhythm. In her current role with Resident Services, she has the honor of supporting our residents and their families as they problem solve and transition through the levels of care Wesley Homes provides. She truly shines and gets back as much as she gives.
Jean has a keen understanding that people are not simply put out to pasture, that the need to connect and engage is as important as the need for water.
She fondly recalls assisting a gentleman with his finances each month, writing checks and communicating with his financial institutions. He was a widower, estranged from his children and had lost his desire to live.
Their conversations soon evolved from ones of practicality to meaningful dialogue about his loving wife. Their relationship grew to one of endearing friendship. He eventually allowed Jean to write notes of love to his nieces that he would dictate to her. They developed a friendship and trust that she misses.
Jean witnesses firsthand the need to give and contribute to one’s community. When a resident runs out of funds, through no fault of their own, it is Jean who administers the subsidy program – the Circle of Concern. Working closely with Wesley Homes Foundation, Jean makes check requests and advocates for those in need.
Jean shared, “If we don’t contribute, who will? We can’t rely on someone else; we need to step up and do it.”
Jean concluded, “Some of us never find our purpose; I am one of the lucky ones!”
Hear more about why Jean gives back to Wesley Homes in this video!
As we approach the Seattle Foundation’s GiveBIG – The Day of Champions on Tuesday, May 5th, please consider making a gift in celebration of our Wesley Homes Champions! To find out more about GiveBIG CLICK HERE!