The Star-Herald

Want to make a difference? Volunteer

A volunteer is someone who willingly, without pay, does something to benefit others or to further a cause. In addition to helping others, it also benefits the volunteer by reducing stress, combatting depression, and increasing self-confidence. 

It sounds like a noble endeavor, but finding volunteer opportunities can be a daunting, time-consuming task. That’s where the Aroostook Agency on Aging can help. 

My role with the agency is to oversee and expand the Friendly Volunteer Program, which partners volunteers who are at least 18 with older adults, disabled individuals or caregivers who need a little help to take better care of themselves and others or their home surroundings. 

The goal of the Friendly Volunteer Program is to help individuals live longer, more fulfilled lives in their own homes, while reducing social isolation. Volunteers are grouped into five service areas, based on their interests and skills: Friendly Callers, Friendly Visitors, Friendly Helpers, Friendly Techies and Friendly Neighbors. 

Friendly Callers call consumers regularly for well-being check-ins, reassurance, and companionship. 

Friendly Visitors engage in in-person conversation, to increase social inclusion and encourage activities that bring joy and fulfillment. 

Friendly Helpers assist with light household or maintenance tasks, basic yard work, running errands, shopping, and paying bills. 

Friendly Techies assist consumers to connect electronically to online services and networks that enable them to stay socially connected and provide access to health education programs and telemedicine. 

Friendly Neighbors are the first contact person for identifying community members in need of assistance or service. 

As Aroostook County’s population ages, the need for volunteers continues to grow. That’s why the Aroostook Agency on Aging asks you to consider joining our team of talented people who, like you, want to make a difference in the lives of others. The gift of your time and talents can make it possible to positively impact another person’s life. 

Right now, we are seeing record numbers of requests for help, and we have assignments ready for caring people like you. 

Kathy McCarty of Washburn coordinates the Friendly Volunteer Program at the Aroostook Agency on Aging. She can be reached at 764-3396 or 1-800-439-1789, or via email at kathy.mccarty@aroostookaging.org.

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