Independence and quality of life for Verde Valley seniors and those with disabilities. Learn from volunteer, John Wozniak.
The Neighbors are so appreciative. Being appreciated builds your self-esteem. What our volunteers tell us.
Retired folks and people without fulfilling jobs can find fulfillment volunteering.
Some of the neighbors have done very interesting things in their lives.
The Verde Valley is full of beautiful and interesting neighborhoods drivers are able to explore.
Telling people, "Well, I'm going to work today." makes you feel younger.
Schedule exactly when you want to volunteer, as much or as little. "You can always fit this in."
People who feel they have been fortunate in life, volunteer as a means to pay back for their good fortune.
We all face the uncertainty of what we will experience in old age. Volunteers sometimes become neighbors.
VVCC is a network of people helping neighbors. As our population ages, every year there is an increasing need for assistance to elderly who want to stay in their own homes. At some point in time, most can no longer drive themselves. Without a convenient transit system, getting to medical appointments and running basic errands, such as grocery shopping, can be impossible.
VVCC fills this gap by providing over 2,200 older adults and adults with disabilities with transportation, shopping assistance, friendly visits, handyperson help and other services to help them stay in their own homes. Volunteer, John Wozniak, shares the importance of this goal to him. “Anything to help people stay in their own homes. It breaks my heart to see people sitting around in care centers.” He says, “neighbors are very gracious and very grateful.” He finds the work “very fulfilling”.
John Wozniak drives and provides handyman services to help with home maintenance.
After interviewing several volunteers for VVCC one phrase was repeated over and over. “The neighbors are so appreciative.” Being appreciated is very good for a person’s self-esteem. At VVCC appreciation comes, not only from the neighbors, but from the staff.
All requests for services come to the Call Center. Call Center staff call volunteers to find one who has the capability and availability to fill the request. It is not an easy job. Often several calls may need to be made before finding an available volunteer. Therefore, Call Center staff very much appreciate the volunteer that says, “Yes, I can do that.”
Volunteers tell us that, “Call Center staff are delightful people and easy to work with.”
Call Center specialist, Jan.
Many volunteers at VVCC are retired. Shannon Wiens, for example, says after a couple of months, “life was becoming boring.” She heard about VVCC and decided to give driving for VVCC a try. In her very first experience the neighbor was so pleasant and appreciative that Shannon has continued driving ever since, about four years.
Says Shannon, “You get a lot more out of volunteering than you put in.”
Shannon shops for neighbor, Sofia.
Deb Schwartz has been driving for VVCC for 12 years. She started when she retired and needed “something worthwhile to do with my time.” She drives neighbors to appointments, takes them shopping or does shopping for them, and a couple times a month she helps “Boots,” who is over 100 and has limited vision. Deb provides business assistance, helping him with his mail and bills.
What does Deb get out of her time volunteering? “It feels so good to help others.” This observation is echoed by other volunteers. One volunteer, who has a friend that complains and is unhappy, says, “Do something for somebody else and you’ll feel better.”
Deb and Boots.