Apr 17

Volunteering, a Reciprocal Relationship Built Around Kindness

Smiling woman

While volunteers have always been important to Springwell’s mission, Karen Chisholm, Volunteer Program Manager notes that the COVID shutdown in 2020 led to a new outpouring of support. Everyone understood the hardship of isolation and loneliness. Many people wanted to help others and do something about potentially lonely neighbors, especially those who were older.

During the height of the pandemic, volunteers made it possible for meals to be delivered daily, and Friendly Visitors, Money Managers, and Ombudsmen pivoted from in-person visits to phone calls and other creative ways of providing help remotely. Now that some COVID risks have abated, volunteers have returned to in-person connections with older adults. The challenges that come with aging will always mean that some older adults need assistance and social interaction. By providing this aid, volunteers support Springwell’s mission of helping older adults stay safe at home.

“Volunteering is a reciprocal relationship built around kindness. Volunteers feel good knowing that they are helping somebody and those being helped are grateful,” notes Chisholm. She adds that volunteers “are people with kind hearts who want to help someone else and when they reach out about serving, they want to know the best way to help. I ask them to think about what role works best for them and is sustainable based on their lifestyle. All roles are about making, maintaining, and growing connections. Some individuals think of themselves as doers and enjoy roles as Home Delivered Meal Drivers, Shopping Assistants, and Money Managers. Others prefer the roles with less defined tasks and more conversation such as Friendly Visitors and Nursing Home Ombudsmen. All programs are in need so if a volunteer chooses a role that is sustainable and a good match for them, everyone benefits.”

Following our merger with BayPath Elder Services, some Springwell volunteer programs serve many more towns than we did last year. Chisholm philosophically concludes that “we always need more volunteers and we will never have enough to serve all the people who might benefit from the connection, but the volunteers we have make an amazing impact, and the caring is very personal.”

Go here to enjoy a message from Karen Chisholm about appreciating Springwell volunteers.

If you would like to learn more about volunteer opportunities, please contact our Volunteer Office at (617)926-4100 or by email at volunteer@springwell.com.