The Jefferson Awards is now Multiplying Good and we could use a little good in our lives. While there is a new name, the essence of the service doesn't change. RTV6 is still recognizing unsung heroes through the "Jefferson Award for Multiplying Good."
INDIANAPOLIS — For years, Vickie Peterson has dedicated her life to her vision of providing the best quality of life to the people who have laid the groundwork of our communities. Because of her selfless heart and drive to serve our seniors, RTV6 recognizes Peterson for her service.
When RTV6 asked Vickie Peterson where she wanted to celebrate her Jefferson Award for Multiplying Good, she did not hesitate to invite us to spend time with her family and friends at Nora Commons, a senior citizen living community.
Peterson is confident she is on the right path.
"In a nutshell, being obedient to God, I think that is how I arrived at where I am at," Peterson said.
After stepping away from her full-time career as a hairdresser, something hit her one day in 2009.
"Times where changing; I asked God what should I do next," Peterson said. "And then he deposited me to start the licensed personal service agency. So getting out there I realized the need for the seniors was so great."
Since then, Peterson strives to keep senior citizens living in their own homes while maintaining a quality of life. She holds events for seniors to enjoy themselves, leads a fellowship, does a radio program to keep seniors informed about the many resources that they can benefit from, and she also provides grocery pick-ups and rides to medical appointments. She even started her own non-profit, 'All Senior Citizens Connect.'
"Seeing the seniors smile, seeing the seniors that come out," Peterson said. The more the seniors come out to these events, the larger my heart feels."
Perhaps the highest point this year was her push to establish the first Indiana Senior Day at the Indiana Statehouse on March 9 alongside State Rep. Robin Shackleford.
"The things that she has been able to accomplish — I was really inspired by the work that she did to get that Indiana state day recognition for seniors," Shackleford said. "It was just fabulous, something that hadn't been done before."
"I watched how she provided so many nice events during the day for seniors because we can't go out at night, you know, a lot, but we still want to enjoy life," Carol Evans Conley, Peterson's business partner, said.
Conley met Peterson in 2016 when Peterson was looking for a business partner for her non-profit. Conley had retired from her fundraising days until she met Peterson.
"I admired so much the vision that she had, how she could think out of the box, you know, and was willing to take a chance," Conley said. "Well I felt like I had to help her out, and I said, 'together we will do what we can.'"
Conley went on to say: "Everything that Peterson dreamed about doing was also my dream and so many other peoples," she said. "She is just a go-getter, you don't always see the path and you still follow it."
It's Peterson's willingness to give her time to others and to shine a light on a part of our community that is often left in the dark.
"I feel that should not happen because a lot of us are doing what we are doing, standing on the shoulders of our seniors that came before us, because they made the path easier for us," Peterson said. "I feel that, yes the children are our future, but the seniors are our past and history, and that should always be remembered."
It's her empathy, compassion, and dedication that brings so much joy, healing and happiness to so many senior's lives.
"For me, it all comes from doing what I am supposed to be doing, so to be honored for something that I feel that I am supposed to be doing, it is very humbling," Peterson said. "Everybody love on a senior — everyone love on a senior every day, find something you can do for a senior."
Along with the help of Peterson's business partner, All Senior Citizens Connect created calendars with prominent and influential seniors in our community, including a familiar face — Barbara Boyd.
Click here if you want to support Peterson and her non-profit, All Senior Citizens Connect.