• Scarlett Bauman, Fundraising and Marketing Manager

Helen is Grateful for the Safe Community that Your Giving Provides

Helen moved into Hawthorn House, AFEV's assisted living and memory care facility, in 2017. Now 89 years old, Helen met her husband, Gene, when she was a nursing student and he was serving in the U.S. Air Force.

The two fell in love, got married and raised five children together. During that time, Helen always worked as a full-time nurse. “I loved my profession,” says Helen. “I always wanted to be a nurse and help others since I was just a little girl.”

In total, Helen’s nursing career spanned half a century. And for 22 of those years, she nursed sick patients back to good health at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center, not far from Air Force Enlisted Village, in Florida. “I watched them build most of this community,” Helen explains.

After Gene died, Helen knew she couldn’t take care of their home by herself. Being visually impaired with advanced age-related macular degeneration, Helen found it increasingly difficult to do certain tasks on her own.

Fortunately—thanks to the kindness of friends like YOU— found helping hands and a safe haven at Air Force Enlisted Village.

Losing her vision hasn’t slowed Helen down much. Always happy and positive, Helen participates in many of AFEV’s activities with other military widows. “I can’t see some of the board games, but I can hear the others playing, and I really enjoy that.”

The pandemic and ensuing lockdown at Hawthorn House have left Helen antsy to return to her regular schedule. “I sure would like to get my hair and nails done at our beauty salon. I really miss those things and visiting with friends. It will be great when they cut us loose!”

While the crisis has been difficult for Helen and our other residents, she is very grateful for the safe community that your giving provides. Says Helen, “I’m not afraid here. I feel very secure. I feel independent and just need a little help getting around.”

Helen looks forward to enjoying the holidays with good friends she’s made at AFEV. “I just love living here … and hope to stay awhile,” she says, with a big smile!

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