6/5/2024 | By Kari Smith

Ellen King Bingham lives to serve her community, especially older adults. She earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in gerontology from Virginia Union University. She has been employed as a scheduler for VCU Health for over 20 years. She also works as a volunteer with Senior Connections of The Capital Area Agency on Aging.

King Bingham started out as a volunteer in the organization’s Ride Connection service, helping clients get to and from medical appointments. She is currently a caller in the TeleBridges program, which serves as a resource for older adults who may be experiencing loneliness or isolation. The program helps mitigate the adverse effects of physical separation, grief, and chronic health conditions by providing regular connections.

No matter the role, she truly enjoys the work, especially connecting with senior citizens. They have a wealth of knowledge, she says, “and I listen, because they have a lot to say!” She shares that she greatly enjoys learning from her clients; their diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and even challenges give them so much life experience to share.

“Ellen is a wonderful volunteer,” says Shana Beverly, volunteer administrator for Seniors Connections. “She has a wonderful attitude and is positive, thoughtful, and thorough. She has been with us for nine years, and we are so grateful for and appreciative of her kindness.” Beverly adds that King Bingham “always lets us know if there are concerns with clients that come up in conversation that need to be addressed.”

Ellen King Bingham

Ellen King Bingham’s family is her two sons, one of whom has passed, along with five grandsons, and one granddaughter. She is also a newlywed – she celebrated her first anniversary on March 30, marrying for the first time at age 63.

But her clients are like family to her, too. “We make connections,” she says. “I know my clients’ family members’ names, and they know mine.”

She has worked with multiple clients, as they sometimes move away from the area or pass away. Although this is a difficult part of the job, she has had experience in hospice situations and is honored to have the opportunity to spend last moments with a client, to offer them comfort in their time of passing.

For anyone who may be interested in volunteering with Senior Connections, King Bingham shares that her favorite part is the loving, caring connection with the clients. It’s “very rewarding, interesting work; there’s never a dull moment!” She has also volunteered in other capacities, such as transporting clients, serving meals, and more.

As she plans for retirement this year, her continued volunteer work will be a valuable contribution to the community. Although King Bingham is using her time to bless others, she feels blessed herself. “God is still in the blessing business,” she tells me, crediting her faith for her strength and her servant heart.

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Kari Smith

Kari Smith is a frequent contributor to Seniors Guide, helping to keep those in the senior industry informed and up-to-date. She's a Virginia native whose love of writing began as a songwriter recording her own music. In addition to teaching music and performing in the Richmond area, Kari also enjoys riding horses and farming.

Kari Smith