They say it takes a special someone to become a volunteer. And that is certainly true when it comes to Neighbors Who Care volunteer Marlene Fishkel!
For the past 10 years, Marlene has volunteered once a week as our office receptionist and currently works the 12:30 – 4:30pm shift on Wednesdays. Thank you, Marlene, for your many years of service!
Marlene’s philosophy to volunteering is simple: “I don’t know why more people don’t do it!” Adding, “I’m always telling people how rewarding it is to volunteer with Neighbors Who Care. It’s so easy, and our volunteers have an incredible impact on people who just need a little help with some very basic needs that most of us take for granted, like running errands or getting to a doctor appointment.”
As a volunteer receptionist, Marlene welcomes guests to our office and answers phone calls from our clients who need support with transportation to medical support, grocery shopping, and respite care, among other services.
Marlene is exceptionally empathetic to our clients’ needs as she has also received client services herself. “I’ve had volunteers take me to doctor’s appointments when I had my knee replacement surgery, and I still get help when I need my air filter changed. I don’t climb ladders anymore!” she says. “When clients tell me how hard things are and how much they rely on Neighbors Who Care volunteers, I understand!”
One of the joys of Marlene’s role as a volunteer receptionist is hearing how much our volunteers mean to our clients. She says that sometimes clients will call us after they’ve received a service to tell us how courteous and helpful our volunteers are. “And I tell them, ‘Well, that’s what we do!”
Marlene is so right. All of our volunteers make such a difference in the lives of our clients, most of whom have no one else to help them with some very basic needs. As Marlene says, “We’re all going to be there someday, and how wonderful it is that there are volunteers at Neighbors Who Care who want to help.”
“But our greatest concern right now,” she adds, “is that we don’t have enough volunteers to fill the growing needs of the folks in our community. We used to be able to offer our clients rides twice a week, but after the pandemic, that all changed as many volunteers did not come back to us.”
Once again, Marlene is correct. The need for volunteers is becoming greater and greater as we are bringing on five to seven new clients each week who each have needs to be filled. This number is only going to grow as the Baby Boomer generation continues to age.
If you have a heart for serving like Marlene does, we would love to have you join us at Neighbors Who Care. With just a few simple steps, you can become a part of our amazing team. As a volunteer, you can volunteer as little or as often as you like. Plus, we work around your schedule, so it couldn’t be easier to lend a helping hand to those who may not have anyone else to assist them.
To sign up: Visit our Volunteer page.