VERDA J. WILKERSON is a passionate leader with a laser –focused commitment to enhance, positively impact and celebrate the lives of seniors.
Growing up in Chicago, Illinois and raised by her grandmother Lillian Wilkerson, Verda regularly cared for her elderly relatives and neighbors in a special way that astounded those around her. It was there that her aspirational fire to serve seniors was lit. “I have been drawn to seniors for as long as I can remember” says Verda. A pivotal turning point in her life came when she was faced with the opportunity to care for an elderly neighbor she hardly knew. The neighbor was told by her doctors that her cancer had returned and was only given three months to live. “She didn’t have any children and her and husband had passed many years ago”, says Verda. “I didn’t know her well, but when I called my grandmother and told her about it she said, “You must help her”. In my heart I knew I had to do just that. Nobody –not even my neighbor- understood why I would help someone that wasn’t a family member. Even though I didn’t know her well at first, our bond became special. I felt compassion and empathy for what she was going through as a senior with no remaining family that lived nearby. Along with a cousin who was able to visit weekly, I went back every day until the she passed away. A lot of seniors are in need of help, and if they had it, they could and would live a better quality of life.”
After pursuing a career in various sectors, her strong fervor to help seniors became the fuel for creating “Lillian’s Light and The Caring One Hundred. With what she believes is a divine calling, no money and lots of determination, Verda launched the organization in 2014. “I would have never moved forward and taken the necessary steps to do it had I listened to the naysayers, Verda remembers. “In the beginning my faith was all I had–but I was so compelled to help. I found out that my faith was enough.” The nonprofit’s mission is to provide a myriad of much needed services and assistance to seniors.
As Founder and CEO of Lillian’s Light and The Caring One Hundred, Verda’s heartfelt mission is simply to serve seniors. With its organizational mission statement, “with the infusion of passion, we are lovingly committed to assisting our senior citizens with the utmost care because they deserve it”, the vision is to create a “one stop” facility that addresses the numerous needs of seniors including legal services, insurance, case-workers, nutritionists, and to connect them to the services and resources needed to help fill in the financial gaps.
“Growing older can be wonderful and difficult at the same time, says Verda. “Our senior population belongs to all of us and they deserve a helping hand as they age.”
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