Eddie Tirado – Volunteer Spotlight

Eddie, a remarkable volunteer in Cohoes, has become a cherished presence in the community through his unwavering commitment to helping others. With a genuine love for people and an innate desire to lend a hand, Eddie continues to make a positive impact on those around him. From his upbringing in Syracuse to his journey of self-discovery working as a model for Kenneth Cole in Manhattan, Eddie’s unwavering dedication and resilience shines through, even in the face of adversity.

Eddie’s Puerto Rican heritage and upbringing instilled in him a deep care for others. “I like helping people. I care about people. It’s in my nature. I love it. I was taught to always help others in need.”

Eddie was inspired by LifePath’s Albany Kitchen Manager and joined the LifePath volunteer team at the Cohoes Senior Center in February 2021, inspired by a friend who works as a chef at the LifePath Meals on Wheels kitchen. Since then, he has been an invaluable asset, assisting at the front desk and delivering meals to individuals twice a week. His ability to empathize and foster genuine connections is a testament to his commitment to making a difference. “I feel joyful with the people I connect with. When people have a question, I connect with them. Everybody loves me.”

Eddie’s dedication to open and respectful communication creates an environment where seniors feel valued and supported. “We have to remember, we’re here for them, they’re not here for us. So we have to be very, very, very respectful. I try to communicate with them.”

For Eddie, the act of helping others is a mutually rewarding experience. “Helping people helps me. Being here is fun because you get to connect with the people. I think they feel comfortable with me.”

Despite life’s inevitable ups and downs, Eddie maintains a resilient outlook. He encourages others not to succumb to worry, stating, “Why worry? We all worry; we’re humans, we can’t help it. People worry constantly, and it’s not gonna go away. Just let the universe take its toll. I get worried and I get sad sometimes. I think it’s human nature. We are mysterious creatures, aren’t we?” His words reflect a wisdom that comes from a place of understanding and acceptance.

Eddie’s unwavering faith in God serves as a source of strength in his life. “I pray. I believe in God. That’s all I believe. This is the way God made me. I’m sorry, but no one is gonna tell me there’s something wrong with me,” Eddie asserted confidently. He acknowledges that despite legal protections, the LGBTQ+ community still faces challenges. “Gay people are still a target. Just because there’s a law that protects us doesn’t mean anything, you’re still a target. I can’t be open like that.”

Eddie’s remarkable journey, filled with personal triumphs and the desire to make a difference, inspires those around him. His unwavering dedication to helping others and creating a comfortable and supportive environment truly embodies the spirit of LifePath. As Eddie humbly stated, “When I see somebody sad, I try to cheer ’em up. That’s what we are here for. That’s what LifePath is about—helping people and making people feel good and comfortable, showing them that we are there for them, they’re not there for us.”

Eddie’s remarkable contributions and genuine compassion make him an invaluable member of the LifePath community. Through his unwavering support, he reminds us all of the power of compassion and connection in improving the lives of those around us.