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Celebration of Caregivers honors those who 'care gift'

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Everyone is given certain gifts but those who use them to care for others should be honored, author and speaker Dr. Shirley Garrett said. She calls it “care gifting” by those who are caregivers.

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Dr. Shirley Garrett (left) congratulates Melvine Newman after Newman received the Family Caregiver of the Year Award during the Celebration of Caregivers luncheon at Julian Smith Casino.  Chris Thelen/Staff
Chris Thelen/Staff
Dr. Shirley Garrett (left) congratulates Melvine Newman after Newman received the Family Caregiver of the Year Award during the Celebration of Caregivers luncheon at Julian Smith Casino.

“That was their gift that they were called to do,” Garrett said.

She spoke Tuesday at the Celebration of Caregivers held by the CSRA Regional Commission Area Agency on Aging’s Care-Net. Garrett said she knows all about giving after she and her sister were adopted out of an orphanage when she was four years old, sight unseen.

“I was given that gift, from an orphan’s perspective,” Garrett said. She later cared for her parents through their illnesses for 25 years. There are a number of other gifts caregivers provide, such as the gift of love, Garrett said.

“The gift of love is really about being the person that holds someone’s hand and helps them navigate through the journey,” she said.

And there is the gift of peace, Garrett said.

“I believe that we give peace by sharing our kindness,” she said.

Garrett said she was there to honor those present for what they are doing.

“They’re the ones that are day to day making the difference in the lives of people,” she said.

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