Did you see our Reflector article on JFS Senior Engagement Program? Check it out below and read more articles in The Reflector on Jewish Community Federation of Richmond’s website.
It’s Monday morning and Carol Kelley is beginning her day at JFS. She may not be a paid employee, but her contributions are just as valuable as a Telephone Reassurance volunteer caller; part of our Senior Engagement Program. Carol became a volunteer with JFS almost a year ago after retiring. The thing she enjoys the most about volunteer work is the people she gets to interact with. She knows many of the JFS staff members and appreciates the fact that JFS is close to her house so she can volunteer frequently. She has always been fond of JFS because of the impactful programs and services JFS offers to the community. She believes in its mission so she considers volunteering here a great way to spend her time giving back. As a Telephone Reassurance Caller, she loves to know she is making a positive impact in people’s lives. Carol is an asset to JFS and brightens everyone’s day when she comes in to the office, including the clients that she talks to every week. One thing she knows she gains from volunteering is the self-satisfaction of helping others, which is important to her and reflects the values that JFS is built on. She understands that volunteers working in nonprofit agencies offer resources and time that in turn allow staff to expand their services to clients. Every JFS volunteer, like Carol, puts their energy towards helping the greater Richmond community by assisting those who need it most. Many of our volunteers are retired and they continue to use their skills and expertise to help JFS clients.
At JFS, we are proud to serve the older adult community through our Senior Engagement Programs; Telephone Reassurance, Friendly Visitors and Outreach programs in several area elder communities like Marywood Apartments and Gayton Terrace. We have a wide age range of volunteer involvement staffing these programs, from college students to retirees. JFS volunteer activities are intergenerational as we also partner with Hillel groups on local college campuses along with BBYO teen groups. The Telephone Reassurance Callers and Friendly Visitors are dedicated to building real friendship and companionship with those we serve. Clients in this program depend on the communication with their JFS volunteer as it offers them the opportunity to connect with a trusted friend who knows their daily routine. It is a way for isolated seniors to develop a sense of connection in a way that’s comfortable for them. For the 2014-2015 year, JFS provided Telephone Reassurance and Friendly Visitor services to 69 members of the Greater Richmond community.
Friendly Visitors provide social visits to seniors and mentally and physically challenged adults in the Greater Richmond area. These compassionate volunteers offer friendship and companionship to isolated seniors looking for someone to spend time with. They share stories, listen and reminisce, play games, take walks and so much more!
Every weekday morning, Telephone Reassurance Callers phone a designated pool of clients to chat, check in, and make sure everything is okay. Their goal—to help everyone get their days started on the right foot. They give peace of mind to seniors who live alone, and are there to “check in”. Some clients are so excited they told us they wake up, get dressed and put on makeup just for their call. Making these calls is fun and rewarding for volunteers and clients.
The annual Volunteer Recognition Lunch was held Thursday, October 22, at the Weinstein JCC. The lunch is one way throughout the year that JFS thanks our volunteers for the incredible work they do every day in the community. Volunteers contribute their time for Friendly Visit, Telephone Reassurance Calls, Admin Support, and Special Projects. JFS will incorporate new and interesting volunteer opportunities next year in our Senior Engagement Program.
For more information on volunteering or if you know someone who may be in need of these services, please contact Sheryl Luebke at [email protected], 804-282-5644 ext.244.