SYSK: Alice Koester volunteers at nursing home for four decades - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

SYSK: Alice Koester volunteers at nursing home for four decades


"I get a lot of hugs," said Alice Koester.

Alice Koester began volunteering at Hillcrest Home in Sumner back in 1969.

"She is the epitome of a volunteer. She cares about people. She truly loves doing this," said Hillcrest Home Administrator Junever Heying.

Alice's husband was actually one of the original Hillcrest Home board members, but it was a former activity coordinator who asked Alice to start volunteering.

"She asked me would I be interested in doing the shopping cart because the gal that did it was going to do babysitting, and so I said yes," said Koester.

More than 40 years later, Alice still takes the shopping cart from room to room for residents to buy snacks. She also helps out with BINGO and reads to the residents.

"I just look forward to seeing these people," said Koester.

At age 94, Alice is the oldest and the longest active volunteer at Hillcrest Home.

"Alice is very fortunate in her age to be able to give back, and I think it's a wonderful example for all of us, including her children and anyone else in the community to give back to someone. It doesn't take a lot of money or time. It just takes a lot of heart, and Alice has that," said Junever Heying.

Alice Koester makes a point of getting to know the residents as she pushes her shopping cart around, often taking a break to visit. The great-grandmother said it's the people, both the staff and the residents, who keep her coming back.

"They are super bunch of people," she said.

Alice and her husband had three children. She has five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

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