Lindsay Stover of Senior Helpers of South Bend: “I do not believe people set out to be a hero”

I do not believe people set out to be a hero. I do believe that in a time of stress or in a difficult situation someone rises to the occasion and then is recognized as a hero. I believe most people who are a hero all possess many of the same characteristics. As part of […]

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I do not believe people set out to be a hero. I do believe that in a time of stress or in a difficult situation someone rises to the occasion and then is recognized as a hero. I believe most people who are a hero all possess many of the same characteristics.

As part of my series about people who stepped up to make a difference during the COVID19 Pandemic, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lindsay Stover.

Lindsay Stover is the Director of Operations for Senior Helpers in South Bend, IN. Lindsay oversees the day to day operations of the South Bend office and makes sure that clients and their families receive the highest level of care. Lindsay is passionate about educating caregivers and providing them with the tools and experience needed to better care for our clients and families. In her spare time Lindsay enjoys spending time with her family and her dog Walter.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit. Can you tell us a bit about how and where you grew up?

I grew up in Southwest Michigan, less than a mile from Lake Michigan. Incredible summers were spent at the beach and we had some very snowy winters. The best of both worlds in my opinion. I have never strayed far from the area. It always has been and always will be home. A little slice of heaven, as I call it.

Is there a particular book that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

Honestly, nothing in particular that I have read recently.

Do you have a favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life or your work?

“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t, you’re right.” -Henry Ford

I have always been really adventurous and taken a lot of risks. I often think of this quote when I am trying to make a decision.

Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s move to the main focus of our interview. You are currently leading a social impact organization that has stepped up during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Can you tell us a bit about what you and your organization are trying to address?

The primary goal of Senior Helpers is to help seniors maintain independence in their homes for as long as possible and as safely as possible. This has always been our mission, but when the pandemic hit in March it became very clear to us that home was the safest place for our clients to be. We wanted to keep them out of Long-Term Care Facilities and Hospitals because as we all know, that is where the virus has been the most prevalent. In the very first days the information was coming in so fast and changing by the minute. Our first priority was finding PPE. We could not find masks anywhere. We even reaching out to doctors’ offices and nail salons to see if anyone had supplies, they could part with. Luckily, we ended up finding two local dentists and a local crafter who made us enough masks to get by.

In your opinion, what does it mean to be a hero?

In my opinion a hero is an ordinary person with an extraordinary amount of courage.

In your opinion or experience, what are “5 characteristics of a hero? Please share a story or example for each.

Courage is extremely important because heroes tend to be very brave people. Selflessness is also a must because when you are a hero, you are always putting other before yourself. Humility also comes to mind because most heroes are very modest and do not want to be recognized for what they have done or their accomplishments.

If heroism is rooted in doing something difficult, scary, or even self-sacrificing, what do you think drives some people — ordinary people — to become heroes?

I do not believe people set out to be a hero. I do believe that in a time of stress or in a difficult situation someone rises to the occasion and then is recognized as a hero. I believe most people who are a hero all possess many of the same characteristics.

What was the specific catalyst for you or your organization to take heroic action? At what point did you personally decide that heroic action needed to be taken?

I did not think about it, I just knew what had to be done and did it. Blindly at the time. Since we have never been through anything like this before there was no guidebook. Mistakes were made along the way, but it never slowed us down. Since COVID-19 started, our business has doubled in size.

Who are your heroes, or who do you see as heroes today?

The Caregivers at Senior Helpers are my heroes, each one of them. Since the pandemic started our Senior Helpers location has grown by almost 50%. That is unbelievable. Many of our caregivers sacrificed time with family to take care of our clients, working long hours, working with COVID-positive clients, and doing it all with a positive attitude. That is amazing to me!

Let’s talk a bit about what is happening in the world today. What specifically frightened or frightens you most about the pandemic?

I think the scariest thing about the pandemic for me has been the unknown and wondering if the things you are doing and the steps you are taking are what is best. There is no guidebook. In many ways we are learning as we go and that can be very scary!

Despite that, what gives you hope for the future? Can you explain?

What gives me hope for the future is the bravery that we have seen and the unity that we have seen through the pandemic.

What has inspired you the most about the behavior of people during the pandemic, and what behaviors do you find most disappointing?

Not giving people grace and understanding. At the day I sometimes wonder why we all cannot just be “NICE”. It seems so simple.

Has this crisis caused you to reassess your view of the world or of society? We would love to hear what you mean.

It has been more eye-opening than anything, seeing so many of our caregivers work 60 plus hours a week with the most vulnerable people. Taking care of clients with COVID, even with the risk and the unknown, our caregivers were fearless. I have said it many times, but they are like angels. It really restores your faith in humanity.

What permanent societal changes would you like to see come out of this crisis?

The societal changes that I would like to see from COVID-19 are the positive changes like people stepping up for others and the quick response time to help those in need.

If you could tell other young people one thing about why they should consider making a positive impact on our environment or society, like you, what would you tell them?

Never think that you are not impacting the world, sometimes as one person you feel so small, but you still have an impact. You can still be the change.

You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I just want people to be kind. It is so simple. Just be a kind human. That is how I live my life.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US, with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Simon Sinik really inspires my leadership style!

How can our readers follow you online?

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

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