EAST BETHEL, Minn. (FOX 9) - Even on a stormy day, a senior center in East Bethel got some sunshine on Friday.
It came in the form of a visit from their favorite 10-year-old volunteer with some skills she uses to keep everybody young.
When story time comes at the Cedar Creek Senior Center, the center of attention is 10-year-old Madison Anderson. A big crowd took in her tale of Bigfoot as part of their Friday entertainment.
Last fall, she started reading to these seniors, helping them make cardinal crafts, and playing them music. Madison quickly became a fixture at the place. In fact, you might even say she’s the heart and soul.
Resident Joe Sokierka, 98, is a big fan, especially when he hears Madison tickling the ivories.
"It's very nice," Sokierka said. "She can play better than anybody that I can see."
Madison spends her time at the senior center visiting the memory care unit, and she plays songs the residents can identify, no matter their state of mind.
"Everybody that can hear the music will connect with it," she said.
They connect with her on a personal level, too, as she patiently engages them in conversation.
"Sometimes it’s better to watch a kid or talk to a kid," Sokierka said.
The fourth grader wants to be a chef one day, but for now, spreading kindness is on the menu.
"I've just had a passion to help people," she said.
So she shares her time, her talents, and her easy smile. And the elderly residents light up and cheer her on.
"It just makes me feel like better once I know, I'm like, yeah, ‘You went in today and helped a lot of people,'" Madison said.
A lot of hearts and souls were uplifted by their favorite young face.