Aimee Jolly is grateful that the daughter of a former Edgewater resident made a large donation to WesleyLife Meals on Wheels in Aimee's name.
The part of the story that surprises Aimee is -- she doesn't feel the service she provided to the resident constituted anything above and beyond what would have been expected.
"It's my job to love and care for the residents, and I was just doing my job," Aimee, a server at Edgewater, WesleyLife's Community for Healthy Living in West Des Moines, says. "I'm glad the family was pleased, and I'm very humbled to have been honored this way."
Aimee learned just before the holidays that the resident's daughter, who asked that her and her mother's names not be used, donated $5,000 to WesleyLife Meals on Wheels to honor Aimee. Meals on Wheels drivers travel to the homes of nearly 1,000 central Iowans a day to provide them with hot, healthy meals.
In honoring Aimee, the daughter shared that her mother, who passed away last year, spent the last few months of her life undergoing medical treatments away from the Edgewater campus.
During the course of those treatments, Aimee made sure to be at work early to provide the resident with her favorite breakfast sandwich before she left for her appointment. She also packed a lunch each day so the woman wouldn't have to wait until she returned to Edgewater to eat her noon meal.
"She was going through such a challenging time that if what I was doing could make her life a little easier, that was so worth it to me," Aimee says. "Making her smile and giving her the security of knowing she could count on her meals was such a small and easy thing for me to do, and I'm happy it meant so much."
Aimee says in seven years at Edgewater, she's formed close relationships with countless residents and always tries to go "a little bit above and beyond" to make them feel special.
"The people we serve here are just the kindest, sweetest, most amazing people," Aimee says. "I love listening to their stories of how they met their spouses or fought in the war or did amazing things in their professional lives. It's an honor to be a part of their lives."
She says she can't imagine spending her days anywhere else.
"I've never had a job where I feel as appreciated as I feel in this one," she says. "Sometimes I feel I should be the one paying the residents for all they do to enrich my life! To be honored by them in this way is something I don't feel I deserve, but I can't tell you how appreciated and loved and grateful it makes me feel."
Heather Stuyvesant, director of annual giving for WesleyLife, says the daughter's donation in Aimee's name will go directly to the funding of meals for nutritionally vulnerable clients.
"Anytime a donation like this one can help us meet a greater degree of need, we've very grateful," Heather says. "We're thankful to Aimee for being the type of team member who could inspire this type of generosity."