Neighbors helping neighbors is the focus of the Friendly Visitor Program (FVP) and volunteer opportunities exist to become a weekly visitor companion to a local senior, or perhaps make a phone call with some regularity to a neighbor who has little social contact with people in his or her town. Some of the volunteers may go grocery shopping, either for or with a neighbor on a weekly basis. Some of the volunteers may help their neighbors by providing a ride to a medical appointment or by helping with light chores or errands. It’s a volunteer’s choice to help in any of these areas. The program is a partnership with the Office for the Aging and Jewish Family Service.
Recently, Jean Ciappa, Warwick FVP Coordinator of Volunteers, asked three current volunteers to tell in their own words why they are a part of this valuable program.
Heather Kuiphoff commented ,”I was intrigued about the Friendly Visitor Program from the first time I read about it. Being new to the area, I thought it was a great way to meet new people and at the same time give back to the community. I’ve developed great relationships through the FVP and love being able to help. There is flexibility with the commitment time and I’m able to work my volunteering around my schedule, which is also a bonus! I really look forward to the time I spend with my “neighbor” and feel like we’ve been lifelong friends. I’m grateful for this opportunity and would encourage others to check it out!”
John Mattera said, “My parents taught me to be thankful for what God has given and to be willing to give back. In addition, I saw first-hand the stress of having to get my mother in law to her radiation treatments everyday for 4 months. I retired in January and was looking for a way to keep myself busy when I read in the church bulletin about the need for volunteers for the Friendly Visitor Program. It was a perfect fit, and has turned out to be so rewarding. I am not just driving a person, I am learning about their life. Turns out that God has blessed me again.” Photo provided
Kathy Lupinski notes, “The Friendly Visitor Program is such an easy way to give back to the community and help neighbors stay independent. This in turn keeps our community vibrant—and you just may learn a thing or two by getting to know those with a lifetime of experience.” Photo provided