Making a Difference: 96-year-old volunteers to help other senior citizens
SOUTH FORK BOROUGH, Pa. (WJAC) - A 96-year-old woman from South Fork Borough doesn't waste a moment and volunteers nearly every day to help others. She's living proof that age really is just a number!
"I love being busy,” said Romona “Bonnie” Sikora with a smile.
Romona Sikora, better known as Bonnie, is not your ordinary 96-year-old.
Almost every morning, she's in the kitchen at Forest Hills Senior Center in South Fork Borough, volunteering her time.
“If I have to go to the doctor or anything, I get the first doctor in the morning and my son takes me over there then he runs me down here,” Sikora said.
Since the senior center opened about 30 years ago, Sikora has been helping with Meals on Wheels, a national organization that delivers nutritious meals to senior citizens and people who are homebound.
Sikora slaps on a pair of gloves and puts dozens of bags and trays together. The meals go to homes and are also served at the senior center.
“I feel like I’m helping something worthwhile, you know, because I come in and I do whatever they need done, that's what I do. I'll say what do I have today and they'll say you have 55 of this to put in bags,” Sikora said.
Sikora has spent her life being a good mom to 11 children and working different jobs and she never really retired.
Her twin daughters say she has always helped in the community.
“We knew she would do this, she said since she was young that she would live to 100 and we didn't think she would be going this strong,” said Stephanie Weakland, one of Sikora’s twin daughters. “She's always helped in the community. All the community groups, the church, church picnics and she's like the energizer bunny, she just keeps going and going.”
“It is amazing that she's still doing it, we don't know where she gets her energy, I don't have that much energy,” said Susan Vivian, Sikora’s other twin daughter.
With all this energy, Sikora doesn't plan on slowing down.
“When you do all of this for so many years, you cannot stop. I can't anyhow. I'm a person that can't stop. When I’m home, I’m doing the same thing at home,” Sikora said.
She has even inspired others to start volunteering at the senior center.
“She was saying how she's been doing this forever and I felt so ashamed of myself like I’m sitting there building puzzles and this lady is coming down here, she was my inspiration for volunteering,” said Maryann Oravis who is now a an employee at Forest Hills Senior Center.
So how does Bonnie continue to do this?
“My advice is keep going, don't stop. Just keep doing the things you're doing until you can't do it anymore so I’m still going,” Sikora said.
She is a perfect reminder to never waste a day and that having a full plate is always important.
You can donate to the Forest Hills Senior Center to help senior citizens in the area enjoy different activities and even get more meals. The number is (814) 495-4696.
If you or a loved one needs assistance from the senior center like the Meals on Wheels program, contact the Cambria County Area Agency on Aging. The number is (814) 539-5595.