Neighbors Who Care volunteer Tom Jones clearly demonstrates the heart of selfless service. He came to us this past August because he was looking for a way to fill his time since retiring. “I needed to fill a void,” Tom says. “Volunteering with Neighbors Who Care seemed like the perfect opportunity to do something a couple of days a week—to get out of the house and help others in my community.”
What we love about Tom, among other things, is that he wasted no time in getting involved. In the few months that he has been a volunteer, he has jumped right in as a transportation driver, as well as taking on minor repair services.
“I am so glad to be serving the people in our community, and volunteering with Neighbors Who Care is convenient for me since it’s so close to home. I like being able to serve neighbors who live nearby, and the fact that I can do this locally gives me more time to serve since I don’t have to drive very far,” he says.
Tom described a recent experience he had with a married couple who needed help changing smoke detector batteries in their home. He said they had no idea how long it had been since they had been replaced and that could be a safety hazard. “They were so happy I was there to take care of this for them,” Tom explains. “They welcomed me into their home, and they were so appreciative for my help.”
Another way that Tom serves Neighbors Who Care is by helping with our office computer systems. As an experienced “IT guy,” Tom is an expert in the Information Technology field and comes into the office twice a week to work on projects. In the short time he has been with us, he has already been able to identify needed areas and integrate updates and upgrades to help make our operation more efficient.
Tom credits his heart for service to his dad. “My dad always set a great example. When I moved here from Texas to help him in his last years, I started doing these kinds of things for him – helping to fix things around the house, like I saw him do when I was growing up,” he says. “After he passed, I started helping some of my neighbors on my street, and I thought, well, if I can do it for them, I should extend that out and do it for others. That’s how I made my way to Neighbors Who Care.”
When he talks about his experience as a volunteer, Tom couldn’t be more positive. “It’s such a fulfilling experience, and honestly, with each time that I volunteer, it makes me want to do more to help people who may not have anyone else around to help them.”
Tom also says he really enjoys the people he has met through Neighbors Who Care. “As a transplant to the area, I needed an outlet to get integrated into the community. Neighbors Who Care has helped fill that need” he says. “I’ve gotten to know the office staff, I’m meeting other volunteers, and I’m starting to meet more clients as I drive them to appointments or help with minor repairs. Hopefully, I’ll start having some repeat client experiences so I can get to know them better!”
Tom’s advice to new volunteers is to take initiative and don’t wait to get started or for a scheduler to call you. “The needs are there, and it’s so easy to get assignments, either by calling the office or by self-scheduling using the online portal,” he explains. “There are plenty of opportunities out there that will work perfectly with your schedule and how far you want to drive. You can pick and choose what works best for you.”
We are so grateful that Tom Jones found Neighbors Who Care. He has stepped in to fill needs for our clients and in our office and has made such a difference in just the short time he has been a volunteer. Thank you, Tom, for all you do!
If Tom’s story has inspired you to volunteer, please visit our Volunteer page or contact our office at (480) 895-7133. We look forward to hearing from you!