A teenager helps seniors as a way to honor someone very special to her.
Once a week, Bailey Thompson scoops ice cream and serves it with a spoon full of love at Life Care Center of Blount County. She is a seventh-grade student at Coulter Grove Intermediate School in Maryville who made a commitment to volunteer.
Blakely Hughes with Life Care Center said, "Bailey is one of our younger ones. She started about a year ago. So we've been very blessed to have her come on Wednesdays, every Wednesday after school."
Volunteering there started with a question she asked herself about her late great-grandfather, John Seagle.
"What can I do in his honor? What can I do to make him proud?"Bailey said. "I was born right after his last stroke and so the doctors said I was really the only one who could communicate with him because I didn't judge, I couldn't talk, I couldn't correct him. So me and him always had a special bond," Bailey said.
He was a resident at Life Care Center for a few months a couple years ago. It provides skilled nursing and rehabilitation. The ice cream social was one of his favorite activities.
"They would come back with a big bowl of ice cream and he said oh I don't think I can eat all of this and he sat there and ate every bite," Bailey said.
The residents enjoy the ice cream socials and the young lady who serves them their favorite flavors.
Blakely said, "It works good for us for our residents getting to interact with her and the younger generation which is great. And it's great for her in turn to socialize and I've seen her mature over the past year or so that she has been here."
What's ahead for Bailey?
"I see Bailey doing anything involved in nurturing and taking care of people. She has a heart just like her great-grandfather. From what I know of her great-grandfather he did a lot of missionary work, was very involved in the church and giving back to the community. So I see her devoting her time to others in some area of service," Blakely said.
Bailey Thompson has a heart for service. She is a 10 Rising Heart.
We want to showcase students who reach beyond their schools and families to help make our community better. To nominate a student, please send an email describing them and their community service to 10Hearts@wbir.com