Catherine accomplished many goals in her 99 years. She was an elder in the United Methodist Church where she taught and mentored countless young people. She had history of leadership, stemming from 1927, when she was one of the first four women to attend a certificate class at Emory University.
But as Catherine moved into her sunset years at the Lutheran Towers facility in Georgia, she had one regret she just couldn’t shake. She always wanted to graduate from Emory.
National nonprofit organization Second Wind Dreams got word of Catherine’s desire, dressed her in a cap and gown, and presented her with the distinction of being a member of Emory University’s Class of 1028.
For more than a decade, Atlanta, Ga.-based Second Wind Dreams has been enriching the lives of seniors by granting wishes. Many of these residents live in nursing homes or assisted living facilities. To date, more than 235 facilities in 40 states, Canada and even India have see wishes granted by Second Wind Dreams.
The organization focuses on individuals living in long-term care facilities or in hospice care. Many of these individuals are without family support or financial resources. Dreams come in the form of motorcycle rides, bowling games, special first dates, and camel rides.
Eighty-six-year-old Virginia from West Virginia, dreamed of conducting a symphony orchestra. Second Wind Dreams arranged for her to take the podium at the West Virginia Symphony.
At a time when more than 90 percent of our nation’s nursing homes are cited for federal health and safety violations, it is rewarding to see an organization dedicated to making the lives of the elderly happy. A dream come true for one person, can warm the lives of many. As witnessed by Second Wind Dreams: “Long after a dream has been fulfilled, the effects linger, giving all involved a second wind.”