March is Women's History Month, and schools and libraries across the nation are preparing events to encourage youth to find role models to emulate. However, children aren't the only ones who can be motivated to try new things by studying notable ladies throughout time.
Monument residents can also find examples to follow in these four inspiring senior women from history.
Born with neuralgia which left her weak and frequently bedridden, Amy Carmichael was an unlikely missionary. She served first in Japan and Sri Lanka before moving to India for 55 years, where she worked to save orphaned and exploited children.
After suffering a serious fall, she spent the last 20 years of her life as an invalid and wrote many books sharing her faith and struggles.
After famously working as a missionary to the tribe that killed her husband, Elisabeth Elliot returned to the United States with her daughter where she began teaching. In the later years of her life, she helped contribute to the New International Version of the Bible, penned over 20 books and hosted a daily radio program.
Among these books were biographies of Amy Carmichael. In her May/June 2002 newsletter, Elliot shared that, at a young age, her imagination had been captured by Carmichael's writings.
Similarly, seniors who love to write or have a heart to teach can take inspiration from the legacies of these two missionary women and start sharing their own experiences with those around them.
A few ways that seniors could begin is by creating devotions to submit to a magazine, writing a newsletter for the younger generations of their family and church or organizing Bible study notes that they can discuss with their assisted living community neighbors.
Though she never attended a nursing school, Clara Barton became known as the Angel of the Battlefield during the Civil War due to her volunteering to tend wounded soldiers and collect supplies. This desire to serve would eventually lead her to found the American Red Cross at the age of 59. As its president for 23 years, she helped bring aid to victims of natural disasters and epidemics around the nation.
Clara Barton's life highlights the difference that volunteering can make and that it can be accomplished at any age. Simple acts such as donating old clothes or eyeglasses, collecting supplies for a food drive or helping with administrative duties in a local non-profit group are just a few of the activities seniors can do to make a difference in the lives of others even if they can't travel to disaster areas.
Born into slavery as Isabella Bomfree, Sojourner Truth walked to freedom in 1826 with her infant daughter, and when her son was illegally sold, she became the first black woman to win a court case against a white man. She spent her life speaking nationally as an advocate for abolition and women's rights and helping slaves escape to freedom and find jobs.
Individuals who are passionate about a cause can use Sojourner Truth's courageous story to help them step forward and offer their own voice to others in need, such as children's advocate groups and seniors helping seniors programs.
By using the abilities and experiences gained throughout their lives, seniors are uniquely equipped to aid those around them to help build a better future for their community and themselves.
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