Queens Person of the Week Brings Spirit to Senior Center

For some, life in a nursing home can be lonely. But our latest Queens Person of the Week is making sure seniors at one residential home have a companion in her. NY1's Leisha Majtan filed this report.

Laeticia Charles' energy is contagious. The 21-year-old is a volunteer at the Holliswood Center, a residential home for seniors.

Charles says losing her grandmother at a young age is what inspires her to give back to this community.

"I had such a connection with her and I feel like with everybody else here I have that connection and I just love working with them," said NY1's Queens Person of the Week, Laeticia Charles.

Charles can be found at the center 4 days a week dancing, playing music, and spending quality time with the residents.

"To see them smile, to know that they have somebody there for them; sometimes they look so sad, they don't have anybody to talk to, and I'm always here bubbly, laughing, smiling, and dancing!" said Charles.

The Holliswood Center relies on help from volunteers like Charles to care for the 300 people who live there. 

Administrators say the joy they bring makes the center feel more like a home.

"Volunteers are not paid because they are worthless, they're not paid because they're priceless," said Ari Steinberg, an Administrator at Holliswood Center. "We are all here to make the residents feel at home, feel happy, even at this stage of life."

Charles says volunteering at Holliswood made her realize her true passion in life.

She's studying health sciences at Queensborough Community College and hopes to one day be an occupational therapist.

And she says her time at the center is just as meaningful to her as it is to the residents.

"They're like friends. They'll be like "hey how you doing? Hi my daughter! My beautiful daughter!" That's how it is and I love it," added Charles.

And so for bringing spirit to the Holliswood Center and brightening the days of its residents, Laeticia Charles is our Queens Person of the Week.

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