Thursday, September 18, 2014

Features
Milwaukee service award winner the real gift at local gift shop
by Nate Kuester


MILWAUKEE, WI -- The next time you find yourself looking to buy a quick gift for someone special, we have a suggestion for you. The gift shop at the Jewish Home and Care Center in Milwaukee might just have what you need.

The suggestion may seem a little bit out of left field. However once you meet the woman who runs the shop, 92-year-old Della Bornstein, you'll understand why you need to check it out. She wants you to come in, even if you have no shopping agenda whatsoever.

"They don't have to buy anything," Bornstein told CBS 58. "We [the customer and Bornstein] just have a conversation."

Della is a volunteer, but her time commitment far exceeds what anyone would expect. For her, staffing the shop and stocking it with exactly what the folks at the home -- as well as the casual shoppers who walk in from off the street -- is a passion. And she is quick to tell you why.

"I look forward to people coming in, residents coming in, and greeting them and making them comfortable in here," Bornstein shared.

It comes as no surprise she makes friends quickly. And it can be heartwarming just to be in her presence. It's fair to say she's a woman with a strong sense of purpose.

"Della does more than just give back to her community," said Marketing and communication director Marlene Heller. "She is part of the fabric of the Jewish Home and Care Center. She believes very strongly in advocating for the residents."

Volunteer coordinator Beth Draper gushed, "Her dedication, she is amazing. "She cares so much about how the shop looks, how the residents feel about all of the things that are in the shop."

Recently Della was singled out as the Wisconsin winner of the Home Instead Senior Care® network's Salute to Senior Service® award because of her continued efforts. Not surprisingly, she tends to deflect the attention she has received away.

"She'll feel like it's too much, and she doesn't like the attention," said Draper. "She deserves the attention, she deserves the accolades. And we were so proud to be able to honor her in this way."

"I feel very humble and very appreciative because I do things because I want to do it," Bornstein shared. "I'm glad it's appreciated, but I don't do it for appreciation. I do it because it gives me pleasure."

The award came with a $500 prize, which she is reinvesting into the home. And that fits right into character for the woman everyone seems to adore. and rightfully so.

"This is an opportunity to recognize community volunteers, who are providing so much, and giving so much back to the community." said Home Instead Senior Care franchise owner Herb Beighley. "And Della's an outstanding representative and example."

Della Bornstein's giving spirit is making Milwaukee Great.

Della tells CBS 58 she is inspired to give so much of herself, because it just seems like the right thing to do for a community that continues to give to her.