ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Rev. Horace Boyd has been pastor at Shiloh Baptist Church in Albany for a long time.
"I've been there since 1959," he said.
But in 2004, he picked up an even more important job - caregiver. Rev. Boyd's wife Barbara fell ill and needed extra help. While many people might have considered putting their loved one in a home, he remembered the vows that he took when he got married in 1949.
Rev. Boyd said, "my vow was important. I honored it and lived up to it all the way."
So he kept her at home and took care of her. He even took special steps to make sure that he was there for his wife.
"I got a bunk bed put in the room with her so that I could be by her side," he said.
While Rev. Boyd's story is inspiring, it's not unique.
Monica Posey from the SOWEGA Council on Aging said, "in the United States there are 50 million caregivers and the money is 350 billion dollars of unpaid services."
Most of these caregivers have one thing in common with him.
"Most of the caregivers are family," Posey said.
And many times it's one family member that is doing most of the work and that can be a problem.
Being a caregiver can sometimes seem like a lonely and thankless job, so Thursday the SOWEGA Council on Aging held an event for caregivers at the First United Methodist Church in Albany.
The dozens of people gathered here learned about the programs available to them and the people that they give care to. While there were plenty of interesting topics, the event had one overall purpose.
"We want to honor caregivers because what they go through. Their help is invaluable to the family," said Posey.
But another reason was to honor Rev. Boyd with an award for the care that he gave to his late wife. He was humbled, but says that he's already received his greatest reward.
"Even if there were no reward, I would have done the service that I rendered," he said.
And as if on cue, the church bells began to ring out as he was receiving his award. A reminder of the importance of the work that caregivers do every day.
Note: This is the second event this year that SOWEGA Council on Aging has sponsored. They plan to sponsor at least two events per year in different locations around South Georgia.