What is the experience like for our volunteers? Here is what some of them have to say…
Volunteering with ISN has taught me so much. I’ve learned to navigate neighborhoods I’ve never been in before, but more importantly, I’ve met wonderful new people. It’s helpful to see all the pluses and minuses in the aging process as I ponder my own advancing years. All the members are so grateful for any assistance I can give them, and I come away feeling good about providing a service. I’ve also enjoyed working with the ISN organizers. Coordinator Carol makes sure not to overburden us with too many requests at a time. Everyone is a volunteer, and while our efforts are always professional, there is a sense of community, mutual caring, as we work together.
I have been blessed with meeting and driving three amazing women (in their 80s and 90s): one who wants to go to Trader Joe’s (she can’t believe I open the pesky plastic bags for her in produce), one who needed a ride to a doctor’s appointment (not because she doesn’t drive, but because HER car was in the shop), and one who is attending a weekly film class at OLLI. These women are so vital and involved in their lives and have such interesting stories to tell. It is a privilege to spend an hour or so with each. I look forward to meeting more people who just need a simple thing or two.
I always thought when I retired I would have the time to do some volunteering. As I looked at opportunities the whole idea of Aging in Place was being talked about in my West End neighborhood. I am still driving and managing my life and it seemed there were plenty of people who could use a little help in those areas. ISN gives me the chance to give back and to invest in something that I will probably need in the future. So far, the rewards have far outweighed the cost. I have met some delightful people and discovered new areas of Portland. And every time, I feel good about that small accomplishment.