Points of Light for Independent Living
Maintaining independence with dignity becomes increasingly important as we grow older. Research shows that people who remain in their homes live longer, happier lives. Our Seniors Program is thoughtfully designed to ensure that our older neighbors stay in their homes safely and comfortably for as long as possible. We rely on volunteers to provide a multitude of services to achieve this goal.
The volunteer pool for this program is a big force and team effort. In 2021 alone, 69 volunteers provided service to the Seniors Program for a total of 1,379 volunteer hours. One cohort of volunteers assumes responsibility for the administrative tasks it takes to orchestrate the volunteers and services. These dedicated individuals provide timely and clear communication to ensure that phones are answered, calls are returned and arrangements are made for rides and deliveries.
Other volunteers provide a wide variety of personal services including transportation to appointments, grocery stores or other desired locations. Home services include assistance with chores inside and outside the home. Indoor tasks may be as simple as changing a light bulb or as thorough as spring cleaning. Outdoor services include seasonal chores such as yard work in the spring and fall.
Compassion, empathy and generosity are just some of the personal qualities collectively embraced by the volunteers in the Seniors Program. Travis, a volunteer since 2018, is one such individual and he appreciates the opportunity to choose to serve MOM in a variety of ways. Travis volunteers exclusively for the Seniors Program and specifically for the task of home chores. This includes outdoor activities like raking, gardening and weeding. More recently, he has helped with indoor chores including taking out the trash, grocery shopping, sweeping, mopping and vacuuming.
For Travis, the best part of being a volunteer is the relationships one builds. “I have had the privilege to get to know and become friends with several clients. I would've never met or known these individuals if it wasn't for this program”.
Rides and driving are essential services of the Seniors Program. Michelle volunteered to be a driver a year ago when services were resumed after closing down due to COVID. Michelle provides rides at least once each week..
Michelle thoroughly enjoys conversation with the Seniors on the way to and from their destinations. She loves hearing about their pasts, interests, and families. Most meaningful to her is the ability to provide a way for Seniors to retain some independence by being part of a service that gets them where they need to be without having to rely on busy family members or public transportation. She also appreciates that the service keeps Seniors from feeling isolated once they lose the ability to drive themselves. “I’m proud to volunteer for an organization that focuses on providing for the well being of community members through the many programs it offers”.
Coming next week: Making Seasons Bright: Volunteers and Seasonal/Special Events
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