She gives three to six hours of her time every week to read to Edgemoor residents or play bingo with them.
On Tuesday, Polly Schoonover was recognized as the San Diego County Volunteer of the Month at the Board of Supervisors meeting.
“I was stunned and honored,” said Schoonover, a Lakeside resident.
Located in Santee, Edgemoor provides 24-hour nursing care, physical rehabilitation, and skilled nursing services to help residents with daily living activities. It also provides medical care and social and psychological services.
Schoonover discovered Edgemoor two years ago when driving by with a friend to a health fair.
“I saw a group of people in wheelchairs and I thought ‘I could fit in there’,” said Schoonover, who uses a wheelchair due to a genetic disorder that causes bones to break easily, often for no apparent cause.
Getting to Edgemoor is not easy but Schoonover makes the trip twice each week. Even though she drives a small vehicle, she manages to fit her wheelchair in the car.
“I love volunteering at Edgemoor,” said Schoonover, who also teaches residents how to make handmade jewelry once a week.
Fran Schaad, Edgemoor’s volunteer coordinator, said they are fortunate to have her at the facility.
“She is an inspiration for our residents. They draw strength from her. She also provides comfort and that human interaction which is so beneficial to their mental health,” Schaad said. “She is a fun person who lives her life with grace and joy. We are fortunate she chose us as the place to volunteer.”
More than 40,000 people volunteer with the County each year, with an estimated value of tens of millions of dollars.