By: Cam Low
Congratulations to Lorraine A. our newest Volunteer of the Month. Lorraine has been volunteering for Cultivate for over two years and is a big part of our Carry-Out Caravan volunteer team!
Lorraine was born and raised in Cape Town, South Africa with her two older brothers. Her father worked for the railways so their family moved all over the country. During her youth, she attended seven different schools, though she said it was not as difficult as you would assume because in South Africa the entire country teaches from the exact same curriculum. Lorraine was an accomplished swimmer in her youth and even qualified for the Olympics. She, unfortunately, wasn't able to actually participate in the games. Because of Apartheid, they could never compete against any other countries.
Lorraine attended Cornhills College in Cape Town where she got her degree in Office Administration. After graduation, she worked with the South African Council for the Deaf for 30 years as well as with the Swimming Association. During that time, she married and raised two daughters. Sadly, her husband passed away at the young age of 47 due to heart problems. Her youngest daughter followed in Lorraine's footsteps and was also an avid swimmer who qualified for the Olympics but could not participate for the same reasons.
It was because of her daughter's competitive swimming that they all ended up in America. When her daughter was in her early teens, her coach was able to secretly have her swim team compete in the States, which made a big impression on Lorraine, especially when her daughter told her that she was going to go back and live in America! One year after graduating from college, her daughter got a job in New York and left South Africa. Her other daughter was able to win a lottery for a visa and followed suit and moved to America. Lorraine joined her daughters in America about 28 years ago with a visitor's visa and green card until she eventually gained citizenship. She originally lived in South Dakota to be near her oldest daughter and, now, here in Colorado to be near her youngest daughter.
After moving to the US, Lorraine accidently stumbled into a housekeeping career by offering to help a realtor clean a home for sale after her regular help didn't show up. Lorraine enjoyed the satisfaction of leaving a place better and cleaner than when she arrived. Her services were so impeccable and needed that she was soon working 8-12 hour days! Lorraine used to be able to go back to South Africa every two years to visit but hasn't been back since the pandemic. She says what she misses the most from South Africa is her friends, the weather and being 10 minutes away from the sea.
Now that she is retired, Lorraine enjoys volunteering, walking, dancing, sewing and knitting hats for the homeless. During the height of COVID, Lorraine knitted so many hats that she generously donated dozens of them to Cultivate to use as gifts for our Volunteer Appreciation event.
Lorraine says she loves volunteering each week for Cultivate. She is part of a great team of residents that help unload, sort and internally deliver the grocery orders throughout their senior living community. She even goes around later to collect our reusable bags. Lorraine says that she enjoys doing it because it gives her the opportunity to meet new people as there are over 300 people that live there. She has been able to foster new friendships and feels good knowing she is helping both the residents and Cultivate. We appreciate Lorraine and the entire internal team at Golden West. They were a crucial part of making sure Cultivate could deliver groceries to our high risk clients when no outside visitors were allowed to enter and they could not leave during the height of the pandemic. It is such a joy to watch her volunteer because she is always smiling and it is obvious that she is so happy to be lending a helpful hand and making a difference!
Thank you, Lorraine! We are so blessed to have you as a Cultivate volunteer. Your willingness to help each week and your positive energy make you a wonderful representative and advocate for Cultivate.
About Cam Low:
Cam Low, a Boulder Native, enjoys the outdoors, practicing yoga, listening to live music, and spending time with her friends and family. As an avid Buffs fan, she is a devoted volunteer with the CU Boulder Alumni Chapter and Buffs4Life as well as an Ambassador for the Boulder Chamber. She joined the Cultivate family in March 2020 as a Business Development and Program Specialist. Cam is passionate about helping seniors and eager to introduce Cultivate clients to other people within the Cultivate Community, further encouraging the connection and relationship between clients, volunteers, donors, and staff.
Our dedicated volunteers are crucial to the Cultivate family and living our mission of helping seniors flourish through active engagement with their community. Each month we will feature their stories in Volunteer of the Month. If you are interested or want to nominate someone else, please contact Cam Low at firstname.lastname@example.org
Help seniors flourish by reconnecting them—as recipients and contributors—with their surrounding communities.