Making An Impact
Volunteers provide companionship, escorted transportation, in-home assistance, and respite for family caregivers – regardless of a participant’s ability to pay. Our mission is to provide volunteer services to help seniors and adults with disabilities in our community live as independently as possible for as long as possible while maintaining their dignity and quality of life.
Who is an AHH volunteer?
- A friendly visitor who brings lively conversation and laughter
- A driver who provides escorted transportation to medical appointments, the grocery store, and social outings
- A helper to run errands, such as picking up prescriptions and getting groceries
- A cook to help with meal preparation
- An assistant to handle light household chores such as laundry, running the vacuum for someone physically unable to do so, and light housekeeping
- A set of eyes to read to the visually impaired
- One who serves as a companion in the respite care program, providing a tired family caregiver with a few hours per week to attend to his or her own needs
- A teacher to instruct an older adult through a new skill, including computer instruction and how to program the TV/VCR
- A librarian to record life histories
Volunteers can provide a helping hand in many different ways. Matches are carefully made based on the interest, geographic location, and availability of the volunteer and the needs of each participant.
All in the Family
Joe Javorski has helped more than 50 elderly individuals as A Helping Hand volunteer during the past three years. The assignment usually starts out as something relatively simple—taking a person to the grocery store or accompanying someone on a doctor’s visit. But for Joe, those initial meetings often develop into friendships that have had a powerful impact on him and the lives of the people whom he encounters.
“I’ve helped some clients time and time again. Those relationships run deep now, and I love them as much as a family member. They mean a lot to me,” says Joe.
There’s the story of an elderly man Joe assisted in Chapel Hill. The client was almost blind, eccentric and gruff. Joe began by taking him to the doctor’s office, and the conversations began. They talked about music—the client had written several classical music symphonies—and from there they went on to discuss everything from quantum physics to politics.
And then there’s the story of an elderly woman in Durham whom Joe helps with a range of tasks.
“She has had a difficult life, but she’s a very optimistic person. We were talking about family, and I told her about one of my teen daughters. ‘Would you like some advice?’ she asked me. ‘The only thing you need to do with your daughter is tell her that you love her, tell her that you love her more.’ That was the best advice I could have received.”
For Joe, the AHH volunteer experience is an ideal way for him to reach out to needs in the world. He’s a FedEx pilot, and there are stretches when he has free time. He says that AHH gives him the flexibility to work around his busy schedule.
“The staff at A Helping Hand are always grateful for any time that I have to volunteer,” he says.
- Since we assist individuals in their homes, a car is requiredin order to provide Companion Care to older and adults with disabilities throughout the Triangle.
- We ask that volunteers be 18 years of age or olderas the majority of our services are in private homes with limited supervision.
- A background check is required for all volunteers, companions, interns, and staff, and is paid for by that individual. *
Because of the extensive contact A Helping Hand representatives have with vulnerable individuals, we run a thorough background check on all volunteers, companions, interns, and staff. The cost for each background check is roughly $20 per person. AHH will provide a link to this service after the initial meeting and an expressed interest to serve. Your support allows us to reduce the funds we spend on administrative fees and maximize the funds available to assist more seniors.