Friends RSVP Caregivers seeking volunteers
William Hodges of Concord (left) assists Earl Burroughs with grocery shopping as part of the Friends RSVP Caregivers program.
The Governors Lilac and Wildflower Commission recently held a lilac photo contest. The contest is in its 17th year and more than 415 photos were submitted from all areas of New Hampshire. The judges spent more than four hours going through pictures. The contest had first through 12th place winners with two runners up. Susan Tullis of Henniker won ninth place.
The Friends RSVP Caregivers Program is seeking volunteers who have a couple of hours per week or even just a few hours per month to bring comfort and cheer to homebound senior citizens by providing transportation to medical appointment, grocery shopping and friendly visit. William Hodges of Concord, a volunteer with the program, told us about his experiences:
How long have you been a volunteer with the Friends RSVP Caregivers Program?
I received a welcoming letter and an RSVP badge on Oct. 2, 2009. I provided the first ride on Oct. 1, 2009. Since that time, I have provided 136 rides for many clients, some of whom rode with me more than once. In 46 months, this averages out to about three rides a month, but some months were busier than others.
How do you know when a senior citizen needs a ride? How much notice is given?
Rides and services are always arranged by the capable hands of Donna Fanny and Hannah Roberts at the Friends offices at 202 N. State St. Either one will call me when they have been contacted by one of their pre-approved clients. Usually, I get about a week’s notice of a need, although that can vary due to special circumstances.
How often do you volunteer for the program? Is it mostly transportation needs or friendly visits?
I think of my volunteering as being on an open-ended basis where I will help whenever asked. I don’t stop because I think I have done enough for one month. I am pleased to provide rides for medical appointments and for food shopping trips. In addition, I work at the Merrimack County Nursing Home in Boscawen, bringing the media cart (books, magazines, calendars, CDs and DVDs) to the residents’ rooms so they may choose something of interest to pass the time. I have done this since January 2010. I also help with bulk mailings and am frequently asked to be an usher at various performances at the Concord City Auditorium on Prince Street.
What is your favorite park about volunteering for the program?
For me, volunteering gives me satisfaction when I perceive that I have made a small difference for a person who, for whatever reason, is unable to do for him/herself. Thus, I can share my manifold blessings!
How can others get involved?
You can get involved by calling the Friends RSVP at 228-1193, ext. 238, or go online at friendsprogram.org and the staff will be happy to assist you. The offices are located at 202 N. State St. in Concord. Anyone age 21 or older can volunteer with the RSVP Caregivers Program and it can be as much time or as little as you want.