MIAMI - One Aventura senior is leading a group of volunteers and making "Miami Proud."
When Carol Ures decided to retire a few years ago, she envisioned relaxing at her new home at Vi at Aventura.
But even in her golden years, she's still working hard.
"I thought I was coming here to retire, but guess what? I didn't retire! I found out that you don't retire from giving back," Ures said.
Ures leads the "Friends Helping Friends" volunteer group at Vi.
A former teacher, she has a heart for service.
"I've always been a volunteer. It goes back to high school, college and then I was a volunteer at the Veterans' Hospital at the Biltmore Hotel when the men were coming back from Vietnam," she said. "Then I was a foster mother while I was teaching school and adopted a special needs child."
Ures and a small but mighty team of volunteers take on projects to benefit various local organizations.
They collect clothes and personal items for foster children, Jewish Community Services, The Humane Society of Greater Miami, the Chapman Partnership and more.
They also provide meals to Aventura police officers and firefighters during the holidays.
"Anything that she can do, once she learns of a need in the community, she'll just jump, you know both feet in and recruit some other residents," said Vi at Aventura Executive Director Renee Garvin. "Before you know it, they have a big program going. It's been incredible."
Garvin was so inspired by the work, she set them up with new wheels dubbed the "Vi-hicle for Good" so they can spread their kindness across the community.
"These residents have done amazing things in their lives and now here in their 70s, 80s and sometimes even 90s, they're still so active and looking at ways they can help others," Garvin said. "Talk about living life well, happy, healthy, making sure no matter what age you are, you can continue to make a difference in the world around you. To me it's very inspiring."
Ures hopes the "Friends Helping Friends" program in her community serves as a model for other senior living facilities.
"The desire to contribute to society, to make the world a better place, does not need to diminish as one grows older," she said. "And at Vi Living, we are not retiring. We are living to help other people. And I think that's one of my purposes."
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