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Anna Downs: It’s nice that I can help them have fun

Ellen Barber

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Every Saturday, sophomore Anna Downs volunteers at Traditions of Wayland by playing bingo with the residents.

While most high schoolers spend their Saturday afternoons relaxing and de-stressing from the past school week, sophomore Anna Downs spends her time at Traditions of Wayland, a local senior living center. Instead of participating in the classic community service projects like picking up trash or working in a soup kitchen, Downs calls out numbers for the center’s weekly bingo game.

When Downs was looking for a community service project, one of her older sisters suggested that she look into opportunities at Traditions. Downs discovered that despite the simplicity of the job, it was more fun and rewarding than she expected.

“It’s nice that I can help them have fun because they don’t really have a lot to do during the day,” Downs said.

At Traditions, each round of bingo costs 20 cents, and the winner of each round gets the money. But, to both Downs and the Traditions residents, Downs’s visits aren’t just about bingo. Downs has made personal relationships with the regulars who come and play with her.

“They are all in different conditions of life. Although I have the same conversation with some people each week, there are a couple that I have become very good friends with.”

Downs also explained how appreciative the Traditions residents are when she is there.

“They have so much fun playing, so they are always so appreciative to the time that I give when I come,” Downs said. “They make little side bets with each other about who’s going to win. They signal to each other how many spaces they have left, and they get so excited when they only have one or two left.”

Even though Downs is dedicating her time to the elderly, she is getting back as much as she gives.

“Sometimes I go and I’m in a bad mood, but when I get there, they all just cheer me up because they’re all so funny. They just put me in such a good mood.”

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1 Comment

One Response to “Anna Downs: It’s nice that I can help them have fun”

  1. Grammy on December 12th, 2012 3:11 PM

    As a grandmother, I cherish the time I can spend with my children and grandchildren. It is always so nice to have young people visit and they bring sunshine to your day.


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Anna Downs: It’s nice that I can help them have fun