105 Chauncy St. Suite 801, Boston, MA 02111 friend@fw4elders.org 617-482-1510

Friend of the Month December 2017

Tasha has been volunteering for 3 years!

Why do you volunteer for FriendshipWorks?
Tasha: “I volunteer for FriendshipWorks because I value intergenerational interactions and I think that helping to minimize elder isolation is really important. I really enjoy my visits with my elder friend, Resurreccion, and have learned a lot through her stories and wisdom.”

What have you learned from your experiences?
Tasha: “I have learned so much about what Boston was like during the 1950’s and about Resurreccion’s experience as an immigrant. It is very interesting to exchange stories about our working lives and to realize how different our experiences have been. “

What is your most memorable experience as a volunteer?
Tasha: “I really enjoyed taking my elder friend to the Museum of Fine Arts. We had a nice walk around the antiquities wing and watched an Indian dance performance during the Diwali festival.”

“Though I know I am only one person, I think that my position as a volunteer can help raise awareness about elder isolation.”

 Fun fact:
“My elder and I were both born in Bogota, Colombia and my elder made me a summer sundress with her sewing machine!”

Friend of the Month November 2017

Kate has been a FriendshipWorks volunteer for almost 2 years!

Our November Friend of the Month is Kate! We want to recognize Kate because of her long dedication to FriendshipWorks and her participation in our various programs. She is an inspiration to all of us.

When asked about her experiences volunteering, Kate said, “Volunteering at FriendshipWorks has given me the chance to give back to the community.  Now that I am retired, I have the time to participate in the Medical Escort Program through which I have met many wonderful people.”

Kate also volunteers for the Friendly Visiting Program. She goes above and beyond as she is matched with not one, but two elders in the Jamaica Plain community. She told us, “I have met two extraordinary women and have really enjoyed getting to know each of them as they have shared their personal stories with me.  Both women worked hard throughout their lives, maintaining their independence and commitment to family.   It has been fascinating to learn about Boston’s history through their eyes.”

“I am convinced that a sense of humor, a joy in living, and a curiosity about others has contributed to a long life for both of these amazing women.  They have inspired me.”

Friend of the Month October 2017

Carlotta and Robert have been matched for 11 months!

Our October Friend of the Month is Carlotta! She is a beloved FriendshipWorks volunteer, and is Robert’s friendly visitor. Since they started spending time together, Carlotta has noticed that her elder friend seems happier than ever. Robert is taking care of himself more, appearing well-dressed, and his apartment is looking fantastic. He has also tried being more social, to step out of his comfort zone.

This friendly visiting match is special, and the trust that they are building with each other is priceless. Carlotta brings out the best in Robert in her warm, gentle manner. And Robert is so appreciative of her efforts. Thank you, Carlotta and Robert, for showing us an inspiring example of true friendship!

 

Friend of the Month September 2017

Danny has been a FriendshipWorks volunteer for almost 7 months!

Question: What do you and your match like to do during your meetings?
Danny: Every Sunday, I spend the first hour in the dining hall of St. Helena’s House reading mail for the Chinese-speaking elders of the complex. A good half of it is spam, but the other half comprises bills, letters from government assistance programs that require a response, and health insurance information. The next hour I accompany my match while we walk around the neighborhood.

Question: What have you learned from your match and what have they learned from you?
Danny: Through my interactions with the many elders at St. Helena’s House, I have been able to learn a lot about their early life back in their home country, which is China for most of them. We are able to relate through our shared culture and customs.

Question: What is your most memorable experience as a volunteer?
Danny: One elder takes interest in learning random English words through her mail. I don’t know when she’ll ever use them, but now she knows the words for “democratic” and “lawyer.”

Question: Why do you volunteer with FriendshipWorks?
Danny: I volunteer with FriendshipWorks because my grandpa is lucky to have me as his own helper but other elders might not have the same fortune. Furthermore, I am able to use my language skills in assisting the otherwise menial task of going through mail.

Friend of the Month August 2017!

Elena and Bettie have been matched for over a year!

Question: What do you and your match like to do during your meetings?
Elena: “Bettie and I like to watch the news and crime shows while talking about what’s going on in the world and in our lives. We share our experiences and our day-to-day activities every week. We don’t usually leave Bettie’s apartment but we always have a wonderful time just talking and keeping each other company.”

Question:  What have you learned from your match and what have they learned from you?
Elena:As a lifelong resident of Roxbury, Bettie is an invaluable resource for all things Boston, past and present. We’ve talked about how politics and the world has changed and I’ve learned so much from her perspective. From me I think Bettie’s learned that while many things have changed since she was my age, there is so much about the world and people that’s stayed the same.”

Question: What is your most memorable experience as a volunteer?
Elena:My favorite experience with Bettie so far was introducing her to my parents when they visited for the weekend. We went to my favorite restaurant in the South End and had a fantastic meal the four of us. It was essential to me that my parents got to meet Bettie, and for Bettie to know how much she means to me.”

Question: What future activities are you looking forward to doing with your match?
Elena:When it gets a little cooler outside as Fall approaches, we plan to take walks around the neighborhood. I also have been planning to cook a homemade pasta dinner for her with my boyfriend so she can learn a new recipe.”

Question: Why do you volunteer with FriendshipWorks?
Elena:I started volunteering with FriendshipWorks as a favor to my friend who was previously matched with Bettie when she was studying abroad. We really clicked and I’ve seen her every week or so since. I’ve continued volunteering because it brings me such joy to know that spending time with Bettie makes her happy and gives her something to look forward to.”

Any additional comments you have?
Elena:I’d like to thank all of the people at FriendshipWorks and all of the volunteers who make this program possible. The work we do is so important to the elder community and I’m honored to be a part of it.”


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