Opinion

VOLUNTEER VIEW: Volunteer Chore Program provides community, assistance for Whatcom seniors

The Volunteer Chore Program has been a program of the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County since 1995 and had 167 volunteers in 2014.

Purpose: The Volunteer Chore Program provides in-home chore help to limited-income seniors and adults with disabilities. Our clients have little to no community or family support and are living with physical limitations that prevent them from being able to take care of those essential tasks that keep them living independently in their home. Volunteers step-in to help with essential errands, rides to medical appointments, light housework, reading mail, yard care and small home repairs. Volunteers lend their skills and compassion to remind some of the most vulnerable in our community that they are not alone.

Volunteer highlights: Our volunteers are heroes to many of our clients. Without their time and compassion, many of our clients would lose their independence. Our volunteers come from all walks of life, whether it’s a group of middle-school aged youth helping spruce up a senior’s yard, or someone who is retired and is helping their client to read their mail and taking them to medical appointments. We seek to make long-lasting matches between a client and a volunteer. Some volunteer relationships have lasted over 10 years! Whether a volunteer is repairing some rotten steps, driving someone to a medical appointment, or helping to clean up a home, their efforts are making someone’s life safer, happier and healthier.

Signature fundraiser: The Volunteer Center of Whatcom County will be celebrating its second annual Oktoberfest fundraiser on Sept. 18. Funds raised will also go to benefit the Volunteer Chore Program.

Wish list: Our wish is to increase our number of volunteers and eliminate our waitlist so that every new client can be quickly matched with a volunteer to help them stay in their home and create a long-lasting relationship that benefits both our client and our volunteer. We need volunteers to help clients like Mary, who is 95, living on her own and needs help with light housework. Or clients like Jim, a veteran living in Blaine, who needs help with getting to medical appointments in Mount Vernon and Seattle. Volunteers can do so much with just an hour of their time.

Volunteer needs: We currently need volunteers to help clients with housework, grocery shopping, transportation to medical appointments, yard care and small home repairs.

For more information, go online to whatcomvolunteer.org/programs/volunteer-chore-program.

The date of Oktoberfest was corrected April 2, 2015.

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