By MaryAnne Beatty
Alexandria, VA – The definition of a volunteer is “a person who does something, especially helping other people, willingly and without being forced or paid to do it.” Senior Services is fortunate to have such a dedicated and committed volunteer corps delivering Meals on Wheels, frozen meals, and groceries, being a Friendly Visitor for isolated older adults, delivering pet food to low-income seniors’ pets, and serving as Senior Ambassadors who spread the word about all the programs and services available to seniors in their respective communities during this health crisis.
We recently asked our volunteers why they are choosing to continue to volunteer to keep our seniors safe at home and here is what some of them said –
Meals on Wheels Volunteer Susanne
“As someone who has worked with older adults, I knew the need for volunteers would be exponential during the pandemic. Delivering Meals on Wheels has given ME a sense of purpose during this otherwise uncertain time. A delivery and social distanced interaction has lifted the spirits of so many; I am fortunate to be a part of this important program.”
Groceries to Go Volunteer Lisa
“Like probably every other human on the planet, I enjoy my routines—they are comforting and reassuring and grounding. With COVID, my weekend emptied—again, like every other person. So I was grateful to see someone post information about Senior Services. I now have a new routine and new friends in my community. I happily meander in the direction of the arrows at Giant and take a good hour or more to collect the items on my new friend’s list. I hope to continue with Alexandria Senior Services for a long time…”
Groceries to Go Client Marilyn about her volunteer Elizabeth
“Elizabeth is the best volunteer you have sent. I have been in the SSA program or six-seven years when it started. She understands the program and my needs and can see beyond…Elizabeth is always professional, she’s smart, follows up timely and is always pleasant and positive.”
Virtual Friendly Visitor Volunteer Mary
“I had a great call with Ann on Thursday. Ann was interesting and shared her history of family and places she’s been. I love talking to seniors…they have great stories. I’ll be calling her tomorrow…looking forward to it.”
Senior Ambassador Donna
“I am honored and excited to represent Senior Services of Alexandria as a Senior Ambassador, reaching out to inform and assist Alexandria seniors to connect with the wealth of resources available within their community. Uncertainty, fear, and dramatic change can be particularly hard on the elderly who may be at risk already on many levels, or who have difficulty adapting to new routines. Helping to ease their anxiety or offer avenues for relief, assistance or simply connection to others is extremely gratifying.”
AniMeals Volunteer Shannon
“The reason why I volunteer is I want to give back to my community. When dropping off my deliveries to my clients, if I see them, we might have a little chit chat sometimes. They just want someone to listen to them or sometimes they have an issue with their AniMeals and might need some help and sometimes they see you and know their cat or dog food is at their door like every other month and their pet/companion is taken care of. I like giving back. I like helping my community.”
These are only a few testimonials from and about volunteers who are making sure our senior residents stay safe during this unprecedented time. We thank them for all they are doing.
If you know of an older adult who might need any of these programs, please contact Mary Lee Anderson, Executive Director by email at [email protected].
MaryAnne Beatty is the Director of Communications for Senior Services of Alexandria.