Voted Best Senior Care Community in Will County

Mother follows in daughter’s footsteps to volunteer

Virginia Shemwell’s daughter leads the morning “Sittercise” classes at the Timbers of Shorewood, 1100 N. River Rd. For the past six years, 85-year-old Virginia has been attending them regularly.

Seeing her daughter interact with residents, Virginia was inspired. Three years ago, she began volunteering at the Timbers’ general store.

She quickly progressed to managing and purchasing inventory, and as a result of her efforts, the store now boasts more than 100 items available for purchase. From toiletries to snacks and greeting cards, the 6-by-15-foot store offers something for everyone.

When not manning the store or the inventory, she always has an eye out for products she thinks might sell.

“I’m a shopper, and I’m a talker,” Virginia said. “So this is the perfect place for me to be, and it makes my day better to be able to help the residents.”

Residents often stop by to browse, or just to talk. She has come to consider them as part of her own extended family, and says she would do anything within her means to help them.

Raised in Detroit, MI, Virginia was a bookkeeper for 23 years and married for 49 years. She has two children with her late husband. After the death of her husband in 1998, she retired and moved to Illinois to be with her daughter. And although officially retired, she continues to work out of the goodness of her heart, at the Timbers. In her spare time she enjoys cooking and taking care of her family.

The Timbers of Shorewood is a rental retirement community which provides senior independent living and assisted living apartments and a full schedule of activities and services. Residents whose needs may change are able to stay in the same place and receive appropriate and compassionate care. Furnished apartments are also available for a short-term stay – a weekend, a week, a month or longer.

For more information call 815-609-0669.


Media Contact: Andy Richardson
Ginny Richardson Public Relations
630-789-8899 or