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One of Lea Murray's clients was despondent and depressed before Lea came into her life. Now, you will find the two side-by-side chatting and quilting blankets for local children who are in hospitals or shelters and in need of a little comfort. The pair donates a few dozen quilts every few months. Lea Murray's Her first career was a school teacher and after receiving an MA in adult education, Lea taught English as a second language. She also worked in corporate America for 24 years. Lea took an early retirement in 2007 and has been with Comfort Keepers for the last five years. She has two grown children and one grandson. Congratulations, Lea on winning the 2011 Comfort Keeper of the Year award!

Two years ago Amy Kirkeide walked into the Blaine, MN Comfort Keepers office for an interview. Quiet and tenderhearted she spoke with soft confidence, sincere in her answers, explaining that she wanted to make a difference and feel good about helping others. Little did the owner know what a tremendous difference Amy would make in the lives of clients, families, and co-workers. Amy graduated from St. Cloud State University with a degree in Elementary Education. She is currently taking additional courses and exploring a field in Geriatrics or Occupational Therapy. Amy provides clients with the highest level of quality of life that is achievable and represents our mission statement every day.

Prior to joining Comfort Keepers, Vickie Paugh earned a Bachelor's degree in business and owned a preschool for 36 years. Vickie provides the same loving care for clients that she once did for her children. She has won many awards within Comfort Keepers as well as the 2010 Community Caregiver of the Year in Gainesville, FL. Vickie serves as Comfort Keeper extraordinaire, a certified dementia specialist and a mentor at Comfort Keepers. No matter where Vickie goes, raving comments come back: "She is a treasure; We need to clone her; Can't believe mom let someone in and wants her back." She could have written the book on Interactive Caregiving. Vickie Paugh knows the importance of making each moment matter and bringing joy to every client.

Sabina Bonasera has an outgoing personality and the unique ability to gently persuade even the most reluctant clients to let her assist them. She makes an effort to get to know each client as an individual -- and to identify what matters to them. Going above and beyond is routine for her. Born in Sicily, Sabina came to the United States when she was twelve and settled on Chicago's northwest side. She moved back to Italy where she raised her children and worked as an accountant. In 1999, Sabina and her family came back to the U.S. and she returned to the corporate life. Sabina retired and became a Comfort Keeper in 2010. Says she caregives "with all of my heart" - and finds it gratifying to help people who can no longer take care of themselves.

After graduating from high school, Peggy spent 13 years in the restaurant industry followed by careers in real estate, retail sales and as a nanny. Her journey as a Comfort Keeper began in May 2005. Peggy is a devoted mother, wife and grandmother and her intrinsic talents for caregiving are deeply rooted in her commitment to her family. Peggy proudly represented CK in the annual Alzheimer's Memory Walk and she volunteers as a member of the office's Safety Committee where her years of experience have given her the opportunity to make contributions to client and caregiver safety. She has mastered the concept of "doing with" rather than "doing for", building her reputation as an interactive caregiver. Peggy is quick to anticipate the client's needs, confident yet humble and always exceeds expectations. Peggy is most remarkable and truly embodies the best in the industry.

Pamela grew up in nearby Piedmont in a large family of 5 children where she was the youngest. Pam graduated from Arizona State University in Tempe with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Due to traumatic events in her personal life, Pamela was prompted to make positive changes for herself. She had been in the fast-paced corporate world and decided to take a leap of faith and follow her passion for caring for the elderly and reading to the blind. This venture has truly changed Pam. Her approach is, 'If I can make a senior smile once, I have made a difference in their lives.'

"There is always hope!" This is what you will hear Nancy Bird her tell clients as she hands them one of her crochet rainbow blankets. The past ten years, Nancy has given over 2,000 of her crochet blankets to people for which she has cared. Nancy Bird has been in nursing and caregiving for nearly 45 years. In 2004, she was recognized as Nurse of the Year for exemplary service. In 2008, Nancy joined Comfort Keepers of Anaheim. She is known for her high standard of excellence in client care solutions, caring for clients, family members and co-workers with respect & dignity, and adapting her care to meet the personal needs of each.