Ann Reinhard — Friendly Visiting
DOROT volunteer since: October 2004
How did you get involved with DOROT?
While researching my genealogy, I discovered I had a 90 year old great aunt living in the farther reaches of Queens. She was very cantankerous, but thrilled that I brought a tape recorder to document her family stories. I so enjoyed spending time with her that I asked my friend who works at DOROT if I could do a genealogy project with a senior in Manhattan. She suggested I get to know a senior first, and then I could do a project with them.
What type of volunteer activities do you do?
I am a Friendly Visitor to a 92 year old woman. I visit her every Wednesday evening for about two hours. We talk about all sorts of things, including her ancestors, but I have never done a formal genealogy with her. It turns out I would rather just enjoy her company.
In what ways has your DOROT volunteer experience impacted your life?
My senior friend is so witty, I wouldn’t have half the funny things to say in conversation if it weren’t for her. It has also given me a really wonderful perspective on aging and affirmed how the spark of who you are can stay youthful.
What motivates you to continue volunteering at DOROT?
My once a week visit has been a real anchor for me. No matter how my day was or how tired I am, I feel great by the time I leave. Nothing can replace that rewarding feeling.
Most memorable volunteer moment?
Agreeing with my friend that it was okay to fudge her birthdate from 1918 to 1928 on an on–line dating form.
What would you want other volunteers to know about volunteering at DOROT?
DOROT provides wonderful support for their volunteers. They did an excellent job matching me with my senior friend and are always responsive when I have questions. They also support my friend with services and social programs so I can feel good about doing my part — being friendly.
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