Nonprofit spreads health, well-being and connection across King County

Full Life Care gathers community groups and volunteers to provide Thanksgiving meals to isolated seniors and caregivers.

A picture of Thanksgiving packages in 2022, carrying the Thanksgiving meal and additional decorations. (Photo courtesy of Ginger Seybold)

A picture of Thanksgiving packages in 2022, carrying the Thanksgiving meal and additional decorations. (Photo courtesy of Ginger Seybold)

Nonprofit organization Full Life Care strives to support isolated seniors and caregivers through community efforts, especially during the holiday season.

Through Full Life Care’s ElderFriends Volunteer Companionship Program and Care Teams program, new and returning volunteers delivered 85 meals on Thanksgiving to seniors and caregivers from Shoreline to South King County.

“It’s a friendly delivery of a Thanksgiving turkey dinner, along with some seasonal decorations and greetings and treats,” said Ginger Seybold, the director of volunteer programs. “The meal delivery is offered to those who would otherwise be alone for the holiday.”

Several organizations and community groups contributed to the Thanksgiving meals. Operation Sack Lunch prepared the holiday meal, Bertschi School first-graders made the turkey centerpieces, Ballard Blossom added roses, harvest treat bags were provided by The Swartz Family, and decorative table settings came from a local sorority.

The ElderFriends program matches a senior with a volunteer, offering a one-on-one friendly companionship in hopes of helping isolated seniors.

“Some of the simple pleasures in life are just as important to our health and well-being as regular medical care,” Seybold said. “I think that these interpersonal connections can really lift someone’s spirit. It can feel very lonely and isolating to live on your own and not have family nearby.”

The program’s core service is building friendships between a volunteer and senior, with visits two to three times a month — remotely or in person. The program’s core service is intertwined with monthly hand-crafted cards of encouragement, annual social gatherings and the Thanksgiving meal delivery.

“We’ve heard some participants, to get our monthly letter — that always has a card from a volunteer inside — or to receive a friendly phone call and to have someone come by on Thanksgiving Day or just in general, that can really make them feel...that connection,” Seybold said. “It might seem like a small thing, but the opportunity to talk to someone to know that someone is out there thinking about them and sending them care, and support can make a big difference.”

Seybold said her colleague, who does the matching of volunteers and seniors, has often found a change in a senior’s tone after they connect with a volunteer.

“When she’s talking to them for the first time to do their intake, some elders might sound very hesitant or withdrawn in their speech,” she said. “But after connecting with one of our volunteers regularly, she can frequently note that they get a little bit more animated on the phone.”

While the ElderFriends program has been serving the community and providing Thanksgiving meals for 28 years, this was be the second year Care Teams participated.

The Care Teams program is a small group of two to four volunteers per family who provide social, emotional and practical support for unpaid family caregivers to alleviate the stress that can come with caregiving, Seybold said.

Volunteers often lend a helping hand or provide a social companion. Volunteers can also ensure caregivers continue to participate in their favorite activities or events by filling in.

According to the website, these established support systems can improve the quality of life for both the caregiver and care receiver.

Although the principal purpose of these programs is to support seniors and caregivers, many volunteers also benefit from both programs.

“A lot of times volunteers are joining because maybe they have moved far away from their own extended family or they feel like there’s something to gain from learning from the stories and the knowledge of older adults,” Seybold said.

According to a Fair Life Care 2022 report, with the collaboration of both programs, the nonprofit saw a 15% increase in Thanksgiving deliveries to ElderFriends and Care Teams participants.

Seybold said although they reached their limit in Thanksgiving meal volunteers, she expressed a need for volunteers in South King County, especially helping caregivers.

“We have a lot of interest out in like Kent, Renton and Federal Way kind of area on the caregiver side,” she said. “We’re making strides, but we’re always looking for more local volunteers.”


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@kentnews.us.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://kentnews.us/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Life

t
City of Kent releases Summer Concert Series lineup for 2024

Venues are West Fenwick Park, Kent Station and Lake Meridian Park from July 10 to Aug. 21

t
Ladies Night Out 10th anniversary June 13 at Kent Station

Pampering, wine tastings, light bites part of event

t
Teddy Bear Clinic a hit in Kent with children, parents

Children receive free teddy bears, check out fire engines, aid cars and fire hoses

t
Memorial Day ceremony set for Tahoma National Cemetery near Kent

Monday, May 27 event begins at 1 p.m. to honor veterans

t
Kids learn how to catch fish in Kent at the Old Fishing Hole

Annual event by city of Kent Parks, Rotary Club of Kent provides new experience

A new playground is part of the recently-completed renovations at Morrill Meadows Park on the East Hill in Kent next to the Kent YMCA. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent Parks
Morrill Meadows Park in Kent reopens after $1.59 million renovation

Upgrades include expanded playground, new swings, improved lawn space and a permanent stage

Check out Paw-Fest from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 1 at Kent Station. COURTESY PHOTO, City of Kent
Paw-Fest to feature pets for adoption, activities at Kent Station

Event will run from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 1

t
Mexican group Los Temerarios to perform in Kent Nov. 14-15

Two shows at the accesso ShoWare Center as part of farewell tour

t
Mark your calendar for the annual Auburn Petpalooza

Event is May 18 at Game Farm Park.

t
Sikh community celebrates grand opening in Kent of Gurudwara temple | Photos

Local leaders participate in event that drew more than 7,000 people over three days