Coffee and conversation: Volunteers connect with residents at Providence of Zeeland


Ed and Hester Berghorst volunteer at the Providence of Zeeland coffee shop every Wednesday.

ZEELAND, Mich. (August 2015) — Ed and Hester Berghorst have been coming to the Providence of Zeeland coffee shop every Wednesday for more than eight years. They don’t make the trip just for their afternoon cup of joe — they volunteer, serving coffee and doughnuts to residents and visitors. But mostly, they take the time to chat with old friends and new faces alike.

“It’s something to do, and we like it,” Ed said. “We like meeting the people.”

Ed has lived in Zeeland all his life, and Hester is from next-door Holland. Lifelong friends and some family members of theirs have gone through Providence. In fact, Ed’s brother and sister-in-law were residents when Hester first started volunteering her time at the coffee shop.

“The Berghorsts are very sweet and loving individuals,” said Julie Hutton, Life Enrichment Director. “They are the same age as our residents and are going through similar health issues. This allows them to connect with our residents on a whole different level. They are absolutely a blessing to our home.”


The coffee shop is open 2-4 p.m. each weekday.

The coffee shop at Providence is open from 2-4 p.m. each weekday, manned by different volunteers.

“Volunteers are extremely valuable to our residents and our home,” said Julie. “The residents love to have that change of pace in the coffee shop. It is a different social scene, thanks to wonderful volunteers like the Berghorsts. They provide residents and their visitors with a cozy spot to have a cup of coffee and genuine conversation. I am extremely grateful for all our volunteers.”

Providence is always looking for volunteers. Find out how you can make a difference.


Read about how others have used their talents at Providence communities:

An Elmhurst artist

The family of an Emerald Meadows resident

A Dutch genealogy expert

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