April is National Volunteers Month, and we want to thank all the generous people who give their time, compassion, and creativity to AgeSpan. This past year, more than 250 volunteers have donated thousands of hours of assistance to our agency and those we serve.
They volunteered for SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone on or eligible for Medicare), Meals on Wheels, Friendly Visitor, Massachusetts Senior Medicare Patrol (MA SMP), Ombudsman, and Money Management programs.
One loyal volunteer is Michaela Abraham, of Andover, who volunteers in the Friendly Visitor Program, Michaela, 23, graduated from the University of Maryland with a bachelor’s degree in cell biology and genetics last year.
Michaela learned about AgeSpan when she was home from college during the COVID-19 pandemic. Her grandfather, to whom she has always been close, was receiving Meals on Wheels through the agency. This sparked her interest and prompted her to volunteer for a year as a MOW driver. She then learned about our Friendly Visitor program and signed up for that last July.
Friendly Visitor volunteers call on older adults in their homes to provide socialization and stimulation to those who might otherwise be isolated. Michaela, who works two part-time jobs, went through some brief training about Friendly Visitor dos and don’ts, then was assigned to call on Edith, a 95-old-Haverhill woman, on a trial basis. It went great.
Edith enjoys her weekly visits with Michaela, talking about aging and how she is doing. The two have become friends, and it benefits both of them. Michaela enjoys hearing about Haverhill during the Depression and World War II, about the close ties neighbors cultivated back then and how these endured throughout their lives.
The outstanding work done by thoughtful volunteers like Michaela makes a difference for those AgeSpan serves every day, not just during National Volunteers Month. You can make a difference as well. To find out more about the Friendly Visitor Program and other opportunities for volunteering, call us at 800-892-0890 or visit https://agespan.org/support-us/