There are more than 300 people involved with volunteer programs at Somerville-Cambridge Elder Services (SECS), helping out with nutrition, medical appointments and companionship, to name a few.
In honor of National Volunteer Month, SCES is highlighting some of our dedicated people who are doing important work in our community.
Doris Graney has been an SCES volunteer since 2009, and she currently works with our New Friend program. We recently caught up with Graney to say thanks, and to ask a few quick questions…
Q When did you start volunteering?
A It was 7 or 8 years ago. I retired on a Friday. On Monday, I started volunteering.
Q What do you do?
A I’ve helped with many of the volunteer programs. With my first match in the New Friend program, I went to restaurants and the Cambridge Library. He was a people person, a former salesman, who liked to talk. He was 94 when I met him, and 96 when he died. I really miss him. Another of my matches is now in a nursing facility, and we still keep in touch. We used to ride in the car for hours, and crochet or knit together.
Q Why do you volunteer?
A You learn a lot from people. I’m very interested in history, and I’ve always enjoyed listening – hearing what people’s lives were like, and the hardships they survived. Because people have survived some hard things! I think people should volunteer not just to do it, but to connect with something that that person likes. Try to do something they miss doing, but always remember that they’re still a person, with autonomy.
The New Friend Program matches volunteers with isolated older adults in their homes to provide companionship, share interests and hobbies, and share their experiences. For more information about New Friend, or any of our other volunteer programs, call 617-628-2601, x3051 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.