Emily M. Duncan

EMILY M. DUNCAN

Joy For All at the Benton House

Have you ever felt like God was telling you to do more for others? That has been me lately. When I was younger I did so much more volunteering than I do now. I guess because I have the girls now, work, full time classes for a degree, keeping up with laundry and house stuff, and so on. All of the things we’d be devastated if we lost, but keep us so busy. As valid as those excuses are, and as much time that they truly do take up, I still feel like I should be doing more. I feel like I should be able to schedule to help others just like I schedule everything else in my busy world. I want the girls to learn that from an early age and to have that feeling in their hearts to want to help people. I hope that through every volunteer project we do together, they learn to cherish and see the worth of each person we come in contact with no matter where those people are in their lives.

“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?” 1 John 3:17


I happened across one of Joy for All's pet companion cats one day and couldn't believe what I saw. The cat resembled the cat my mom has, so of course LG was in love. I couldn't believe how real they look and feel. Ageless Innovation's Joy for All companion pets has pups and cats that were designed to give the gift of companionship and love to the aging adult community. Companion pets bring to the aging adults the interactive companionship, happiness and purpose associated with owning a pet, without the responsibility or vet bills associated with owning a pet. The pets are so fun, and the way that they have helped so many that live individually and in community care is incredible. Through their companion pets, the company has been able to reach so many of those affected by loneliness, isolation, Alzheimer’s and all forms of dementia.


“And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.” Hebrews 13:16


I decided to get a pup and a kitty and let the girls fall in love with them, give them cute names, brush and take care of them, and learn how they work. Then I let them know that we were going to be doing something really important with them. I told them about The Benton House, and how they provide housing, compassion and care to elderly people. I told the girls that we would be taking the pets to The Benton House to share them with everyone there and let the older people love on them. The girls were a little nervous to go because they hadn't ever done anything like that, but because they were bringing the companion pets that helped them warm up to the idea. It gave the girls a way to start a conversation easily, which made it a great first community volunteer trip for them.

They loved every second of being there, and so did my Mom and I. Watching the girls love on the residents at the Benton House was priceless, and the faces of the residents while the girls talked to them and played with the pets with them was great. You could really see how much they loved the companion pets. The elderly people held them, hugged them and petted them just like they would a live pet. They seemed to light up when holding them; completely changing their moods. I remembered how heartbreaking it was volunteering over the years to see patients in the nursing home or assisted living centers who you could tell were withdrawn and depressed, had dementia, and never had family visit. While at the Benton House, I couldn’t help but think about was how much all of those people I met over the years would have benefited from a Joy for All companion pet. After seeing the way the Benton House residents reacted to the pets, I think it would be an amazing gift for any older loved one or elderly friend.

Giving your time to those in need --- the less fortunate, the disabled, the elderly --- it puts a fresh outlook on our own lives. It gives us a feeling of new found gratitude, and a reminder of how fortunate we truly are at each moment in our lives. We may not have the perfect relationship, the perfect job, perfect car, make enough money, feel important enough or pretty enough, but we are still so fortunate. I think that by consistently carving out time in our schedules to help those in need, we are able to keep a stronger hold on that attitude of gratitude. So instead of letting the world fill you with self doubt, you are filled with love from God. That love allows you to show compassion to others through volunteering. I love seeing God work in moments like that, and you could truly feel His presence that day. Reassuring me again and again that His love is real, and that through moments of kindness and compassion we can bring generations together. Joy for All companion pets are an amazing tool to help so many older people feel comfort, companionship and love. What special person could you be a blessing to by gifting one of these sweet companion pets?

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