Apr 18

Volunteering leads to a surprising connection

Volunteering is well understood to have benefits to both the community and to the volunteer. Sometimes the benefits can be surprising. As the Springwell Volunteer Appreciation event last year an unexpected surprise came in the form of a reunion of two childhood friends. Sherry and Ed, long-time volunteers at different Springwell Community Dining sites, saw each other and both exclaimed, “I know you!”

Sherry has been a Community Dining volunteer for seven years. When she retired, she began attending movies at the Brookline Senior Center, where she learned that Springwell needed help in the kitchen during the on-site lunch program. Before long, she was happily volunteering five days a week. In addition to serving food, Sherry enjoys welcoming new people and has made many friends at the site.

In his years volunteering in Belmont, Ed has helped in the kitchen and serving food to diners.  Serving humanity through volunteerism is one part of Ed’s core beliefs, which are grounded in his membership in the Freemason fraternal organization. In the dining program, Ed interacts with many people, and he enjoys being a resource for whatever others need, from engaging in a compassionate chat to teaching iPhone skills.

It’s not surprising that Sherry and Ed recognized each other, even after many years. They lived on neighboring streets in Boston during grammar and junior high school and were part of a group of friends who enjoyed skating, basketball, volleyball and picnics together. After they grew up and moved away, they lost touch until this appreciation event, which was Sherry’s first.

For Sherry and Ed, volunteering is meaningful, and reconnecting with an old friend over their shared experience made the evening extra happy. At Springwell, we appreciate the difference volunteers make in the daily lives of seniors we serve. This night, we were delighted to see it reconnect old friends as well.

You can learn more about bringing the joys of volunteering into your life by exploring Volunteer Opportunities at Springwell.