At the beginning of the year, Older Wiser Loving Souls (OWLS) had a goal to build deeper relationships with seniors and make them feel loved, according to Madyson Cappelletti.
“One of the ladies said that she looks forward to seeing volunteers every week. She said, ‘you always help me’ after I told her how much Jesus loves her,” Madyson stated.
OWLS is a ministry with the purpose of encouraging students to visit senior neighbors. OWLS is an acronym for Older Wiser Loving Souls. It’s a ministry students can participate by visiting the senior neighbors of Point Loma in the assisted living facility, Golden Living Point Loma. The director of the community ministry, Dana Hojsack, and co-leaders Madyson Cappelletti and Bella Seo run the ministry and focus on helping the community on and outside of campus.
Cappelletti and Seo take care of the logistics of the ministry and do all the background planning. Hojsack said that all the community ministries help students live out their faith and help them to get to know their neighbors, and help them serve in the community. OWLS gives students the opportunity to connect with their elderly neighbors and share the many gifts they have with them.
“Every student has a gift that God has gifted them and ministries give them the opportunity to share their gifts with others,” Hojsack said.
OWLS has been part of Point Loma Nazarene University since 2006, but this kind of ministry has been part of the PLNU community much longer. Before OWLS, this ministry was called Elderly Outreach. In 2019, the name was changed because the leaders wanted a name that was more welcoming to the senior neighbors. According to Hojsack these seniors often do not have people who visit them and they look forward to young people coming and sharing their lives with them.
Mykaela Ocampo, a first-year biology-chemistry major, said she likes OWLS because she enjoys being there for the seniors and giving them company.
“I think it’s a wonderful way to spend my morning by brightening up their day,” Ocampo said.
Ocampo explained that some of these seniors do not know how to use modern-day technology so having students who are aware of technology is very helpful for them.
“I helped an elderly woman install Chrome on her laptop and I helped her navigate her laptop and her TV remote and it was really fun to teach her and make sure that she was all squared away while I was there,” Ocampo stated.
Jaedyn Jivan, a first-year marketing major, said she likes OWLS because she worked at a nursing home back home and knows how much her visit impacts the seniors.
“I know that when I am in their presence it impacts them a lot and it shows that I care a lot,” Jivan said.
Jivan met a couple when she first visited the assisted living facility. The wife has dementia and Jivan says that her husband visits her every day. The man said that his wife has a huge heart for God and it’s hard for him to see her in this state.
“Every time I go I see this man and spend time with him and his wife with my friend. We spend time talking and we pray every visit together for his wife,” Jivan said.
According to Cappelletti, OWLS has a huge impact not only on the students but also on the seniors. The seniors’ weeks get better every time they see Point Loma students come in, Cappelletti said. They have a soft spot in their hearts for every college student and it is very impactful.
The overall goal that Hojsack wants to achieve not only with OWLS but with every community ministry is to have students find a ministry they love and for them to utilize the gift that God has given them to give back to the world.
A form is sent out every week by one of the student leaders to see who wants to attend.
If anyone wants to join OWLS ministry feel free to email the leadership team at OWLS@pointloma.edu Note that COVID-19-19 vaccination or PCR test results within 48 hours of the ministry visit are required to participate.
Follow the ministries’ Instagram page @plnucommunityministries to get a hold of more ministries on campus!
Written By: Alondra Kazzouh