Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Edge's journey of providing care to local elderly


In honor of Black History Month, which takes place in February of each year, The Gatesville Messenger interviewed an outstanding citizen who represents what it means to make a difference within the community.

Since Gatesville Senior Center’s Nutrition Supervisor Camilla Edge was just a young girl, she has had a gift of working with and caring for the elderly.

“All I have ever done is work with the elderly,” Edge said.

Edge began her journey at the Rotunda Nursing Home on Osage Road, which is now demolished. She was the juice girl, which meant it was her responsibility to pass around snacks and beverages to the residents.

“I had to get a minor’s release because I was too young to work,” she said.

Along with having a compassion for the elderly, she also has a knack for cooking. She is known for her skills in the kitchen which began at a very young age.

She cooked her first meal at only six years old and she expressed that she learned from the best.

“I was always in the kitchen with my grandma,” she said. “I cooked with her a lot and I stayed the summer with her most of the time.”

As years passed by, she knew she wanted to work somewhere that felt like home, where she could cook and be with those she cared for.

“I have always wanted this job at the center, and I just knew that this would be the perfect job for me,” she said.

The Senior Center has been close to Edge’s heart for years since her father became involved with an organization called the Friendship House (that is similar to the center) before his passing. Her father was able to receive a hot meal and conversation five days a week, which made her grateful for their services.

“I knew that I needed to be here at the Senior Center after he died,” she said.

Shortly after the passing of her father in 2022, she happened to see Senior Center Director Pam Rudolph in town and let her know that she was interested in the kitchen position.

The position soon became available, and the rest was history.

“I love getting up each morning and coming to work. I have not had a single day where I have not wanted to be here,” she said.

On a typical day, Edge will prepare a plethora of food to serve around 85 people all by herself.

“When I first started, we had about 35 people, which included the meals on wheels folks,” she said. “Since then, we have just kept growing and growing and growing.”

For Edge, her role at the Senior Center is more than just a job, it is a family. She has become close with the congregation and even takes them on trips when she can.

“Me and some of the women went to Waco the other day, and we shopped until we dropped,” she said. “I took them to Maurices, Bath & Body Works, Crumble Cookies, and to get some coffee - we had a ball.”

“I have loved elderly people since I can remember,” she said. “They are the neatest people to be around, and you get the best wisdom for free.”

“I feel like this place means something to the congregation, and especially to the people with Meals on Wheels,” she said. “That is the way it was for my dad, and it meant something to him.”

Edge will come up on her two-year anniversary of serving at the senior center in November of this year.

“A lot of the times people here will ask what we would do without you,” she said. “It is the other way around, what would I do without them, because they make a difference to me.”