Stephanie's Heroes: Bruce Garretson

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October 8, 2012

Despite having a traumatic brain injury, one local man is volunteering his time and trying to make a difference for seniors in Charlottesville. In this week's Stephanie's Heroes, CBS19’s Stephanie Satchell is featuring Bruce Garretson who is a volunteer at the Senior Center in Charlottesville.

Four days a week you can find Bruce Garretson at the Garden Café inside The Senior Center running the store and ringing up customers.

“I help people assist in getting them food and making coffee and making cocoas. One gentleman comes in and eats oatmeal basically every morning. I do that for him,” said Bruce Garretson, Volunteer, The Senior Center.

Garretson enjoys his job, but says it's often challenging. That's because he's a survivor of a traumatic brain injury and has problems with his memory.

“It’s very difficult for me. People will come walking up to me and they'll say something or I’ll say something to them and two minutes later I’ll walk by and I’ll think it's the first time I saw them and I’ll say the same thing to them again and they'll look at me like you just said that to me,” said Garretson.

He doesn't let his lack of memory get in his way and that’s the reason staff say he's a hero at the Senior Center.

“It’s fabulous because he doesn't let anything stop him. He has continued to move forward with his life even though he's had a brain injury. He's made a difference,” said Kimberly Haynes, Coordinator of Volunteer Resources, The Senior Center.

Not only does he help seniors get their morning cup of joe, he also takes a moment to chat with everyone who stops by.

“I just enjoy what I’m doing and I enjoy trying to make people smile and keeping people happy. That’s what I like to do,” said Garretson.

As for the memory issues, he's got some help.