by Allison Rossi Utter, Volunteer & Outreach Manager
The Senior Services Volunteer of the Month for March is Maureen Brinker, Friendly Visitor! Maureen has volunteered since February 2020, right before the COVID-19 pandemic started however that didn’t stop her! Why does Maureen volunteer? She replied, “I was aware of Senior Services for over 25 years and admire what the agency does; volunteering is a way for me to give back, helps me to feel better, and allows me to make others feel good too.” Maureen usually visits weekly with a client for a few hours at a time. They discuss current and past events and reminisce together. She has recently agreed to visit another client too. Maureen says, “I have developed friendships which I don’t want to abandon.” Katie Vokal, Care Manager, says, “Volunteers such as Maureen start off as a social support but because of her caring and compassionate demeanor, my clients now see her as a loving friend.” Many clients that are referred to the Friendly visitor program, are home-bound. They may also not have reliable family or friends to check on them or provide socialization. Katie expressed her appreciation for Maureen’s volunteerism by concluding, “Maureen has become a constant in the lives of my clients who are still apprehensive and fearful to live in this world dominated by COVID-19. She breathes life into the home and provides updates to the Care Management team. Maureen ensures that my clients are receiving the correct assistance to stay where they want to be, secure in their own home.”
Friendly Visitors/Shoppers help seniors who may be isolated, homebound, or unable to drive. Depending on the client, a Friendly Visitor may come to their house to visit or play cards, take them to a center for lunch, go for a walk or shop once a week. Sometimes people in need of a shopper might not drive anymore or simply cannot get around well enough to shop for themselves. Visits are tailored to the needs of the senior and the interests and availability of the volunteer. The time commitment is usually one to two hours a week and mileage is reimbursed. It is the one volunteer opportunity that someone who is still working full time can do after normal work hours or on weekends.
Maureen moved to Midland from the Detroit area approximately 47 years ago. She has two adult daughters that live nearby. Maureen worked for Visiting Nurses and that is how she learned about Senior Services. Maureen loves to sew, craft, read, cook and bake in her free time.
If you are interested in this, or other services, contact Senior Services at (989) 633-3700. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer Friendly Visitor or Shopper, call 633-3741. We always have a need!
Thank you, Maureen, for your volunteer spirit; we really appreciate your faithfulness as a volunteer. Congratulations on being chosen as March Volunteer of the Month!
Senior Services is in need of Friendly Visitor, Shopping, Meals on Wheels drivers, Transportation drivers and Handyman volunteers. If you choose to volunteer with us, you will be embarking on a rewarding adventure that will have a huge impact on the older adults of Midland County! And you will join one of the finest groups of people we know – our experienced, trusted and valued volunteers!
The Activity & Dining Centers and Seasons are always looking for any and all kinds of entertainment. Do you play an instrument? Do magic? Puppets? Call Allison if you are interested in volunteering to share your talent at our Centers and Seasons!
Visit us at www.SeniorServicesMidland.org to fill out a volunteer contact form or call Allison Rossi Utter, Volunteer and Outreach Manager, at 989-633-3741.