Six Degrees of Noble Volunteer Lib Grannan
By combining her passion for people and volunteering, Lib Grannan has created joy for generations of people up down the east coast! Fortunately for Noble Horizons, she settled into our community five years ago and has been forging friendships and connections ever since.
Lib raised her family in the northwest corner, faithfully attending her two children’s many athletic and extra-curricular events. She also worked at Housatonic Valley Regional High School where she befriended generations of students and their families. After 24 years at Housy, Lib and her husband moved to Florida, where she volunteered as a receptionist at a local hospital’s inpatient and emergency room desks. This move was followed by another relocation, this time to South Carolina, where Lib immersed herself in local history by volunteering at a historical society located on two historic plantations.
Though busy and happy in South Carolina, Lib felt a growing desire to be closer to her children who live in NY and MA. She returned to the area five years ago and moved right into a cottage at Noble Horizons. Soon after she settled in, the Director of Volunteers asked if she’d volunteer at the Country Store which Lib declined, explaining, “I can’t stand in one place very long, but I can walk forever.”
It didn’t take long, however, for Lib to find her volunteer niche. Within a few months of moving in, she began visiting residents and five years later continues to deliver joy and companionship. Given her social nature, it’s a perfect fit, so much so that she received the annual Resident Volunteer Award. Her gregarious personality is paired with an awareness of what people need and want. She’s become adept at understanding who enjoys conversation and who needs time and space on their own. She also finds herself encouraging residents to get involved in the rich array of activities that Noble offers.
Lib’s recipe for success as a volunteer is simple, “We just talk,” she explains. “This is a commitment that I make and I’ve only missed once in all the years I have been visiting.” And that absence did not go unnoticed, leading to multiple queries about her health and when she’d be back. In fact, her visits become such an integral part of a resident’s life that she has also formed close friendships with their families, sometimes inviting them to her cottage for a meal or attending their family events at Noble. “It has become so rewarding. I have come to know these families and I hear from them all the time. I get cards every holiday and they come to see me as well.”
Lib’s volunteer life seamlessly integrates with her private life. John, a resident she has visited for years, has family ties to Ithaca where Lib’s son lives. During a recent visit with her son, Lib made sure to document it with photos and comments, “When I brought pictures back from my trip and showed them to John, it was like I had given him a million dollars.” Now she brings her iPad everywhere she goes so she can share her travels with others.
Further testament to Lib’s natural ability to connect people occurred at her 90th birthday a few months ago when a former Housy student who is now a social worker met the daughter of one of Lib’s resident friends who is also a social worker. “They were so excited to meet each other. It’s a small world,” Lib observes.
The world does indeed seem small amidst the network of friendships and long-lasting relationships that Lib has naturally cultivated over the years and we are grateful for the warm spirit she continues to spread throughout Noble Horizons.