COVINGTON — Jackie Ogden, born and raised here, is reaching out to those in the community who need help.
On Jan. 25, Ogden posted to the Blossburg Together Facebook group, where residents of Blossburg and neighboring towns post about events, small businesses, job openings, power and water outages, and more.
Her post asked if any elderly person in the area needed a helping hand, citing her love for the community, caring and companionship.
“Whether it’s taking them to the store, cooking for them, doing their laundry, assisting with personal care or just providing companionship, I’m available,” Ogden’s post states.
Ogden’s son, Nicholas, was born in 2009 with a congenital heart defect, which required intense care. Then the unthinkable happened — Nicholas died in 2016, at just six years old.
“I was so lost,” said Ogden.
After her son’s death, Ogden started helping others in the community by caring for them in her spare time, as well as advocating for the rights of disabled individuals and raising funds for the American Heart Association.
“It’s all a way for me to give back to those that gave so much to Nicholas and to our entire family during his six short years,” said Ogden.
Ogden’s one-on-one time is mostly spent with the elderly, where she feels her work helps the most. Her parents were older than many of her peers’, and she always enjoyed being around when her parents’ friends stopped by for a visit.
“The elderly population really is where my heart is,” she said. “When a need arises and it’s something I am able to fit into my schedule, you can bet I try to my best to make it work.”
Although Ogden has full-time and part-time jobs, she still makes time in her day to routinely care for those that need her.
Ogden does a myriad of tasks for those who need her help. She provides personal care, cooks meals, runs errands, takes them for car rides or transports them to their destinations, manages their medication and occasionally mows lawns and tends to flowers.
“The type of care really varies from individual to individual,” Ogden said. “Sometimes it’s just offering simple companionship.”
Ogden doesn’t just do chores for the elderly — she forms bonds with people. She often helps the same person routinely, and the bonds that are formed through her outreach are special to those who she has helped as well as Ogden herself.
“I can’t even begin to describe what these bonds truly mean to me,” Ogden said. “It’s a blessing that I cherish very much.”
Ogden’s post has reached over 40 people in the Blossburg Together group alone, some of whom need her help. Multiple people have reached out to Jackie via Facebook, email and text to ask her for help, and she is looking forward to meeting some of them very soon.
“I think this experience, to me, is all about helping others and allow them to still enjoy life,” said Ogden. “Nicholas was larger than life itself and enjoyed every day to the fullest. Watching them enjoy our time together makes me feel as if he’s still with me in a sense, enjoying what each day has to offer and hopefully helping others too.”