At my most recent visit to Bridges, Cornell Heights, I was greeted with “I’m really glad to see you today,” “Wow you’re back!!” and a “Thank you,” with the warmest smiles. Bridges is an old age home located right behind Cornell’s North Campus and is a really special and unique place. I’ve been volunteering there now since the Fall of 2017, and it is one of my absolute favorite things that I do on campus. I look forward to my Sunday night trips, where I know I will be able to sit and have conversations with people who maybe have not had a lot of attention or company, even for a few years. The residents there are the sweetest people, and I consider myself so lucky to be able to spend this time with them. Rest assured, I will be asked every week how I’m doing, how school is going, if I’ve eaten, and they make sure to check in to see if I have a ride back home to Collegetown by the end of my visit when it’s dark out.
Bridges is especially meaningful to me, someone who grew up next door to her grandparents, because now in college, I was looking for an opportunity to find these similar connections. I mean, can you think of anything more like my grandmother, than someone checking in to make sure I’ve eaten dinner, all while promising me candy next time? It’s moments like these where I’m truly loving my time there, all while “volunteering” and “doing service” — even though I know how much I am getting out of it too! I am so grateful to APO for providing me the opportunity to volunteer there every week and establish important connections like these in the Ithaca community.