Bill Huppuch — Westchester Friendly Visitor
How long have you been a DOROT volunteer?
How did you get involved with DOROT?
I was a member of the Briarcliff-Ossining Helping Hands Committee and we had two DOROT social workers train and vet us to do friendly visits with the elderly in our area. I received a call from one of the social workers about a woman in Croton who speaks Russian and a little English. I decided to accept the challenge and have been visiting her once a week ever since.
What type of volunteer activities do you do at DOROT?
Friendly Visiting - I visit an elderly woman in Croton once a week.
In what ways has your DOROT volunteer experience impacted your life?
I have made a very dear friend and gotten to know her daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter. As a result of our sharing, I have learned a great deal about her and Russia, and she has learned a great deal about me and my family.
What motivates you to continue volunteering at DOROT?
Although my visits require a fair amount of preparation like organizing a possible conversation, translating it and having some pictures or YouTube sites to support the topic, I find being with my friend and sharing to be very rewarding. We are unique individuals with very different stories, but we are both caring, passionate people who enjoy sharing, learning and laughing. We have a special hour together once a week.
Most memorable volunteer moment
Because my friend does not speak fluent English and sometimes feels frustrated to the point of not believing that anyone could possibly understand her, I wrote down a great deal of the information about her earlier life in Russia beginning with her birth in the Ukraine and translated it into Russian using the Universal Translator program on my computer. When my friend read all of the information [in English and Russian] that I remembered from our conversations, she was very touched and teared up. As she says, “You understand me! I speak English!”
What would you want other volunteers to know about volunteering at DOROT?
DOROT is very together...
DOROT does a background check on every volunteer and has a very helpful training program. Also, the social worker meets with the person interested in having a visitor and works to find a volunteer who might be a good match. And, DOROT is always ready to handle any question or concern via a phone call or email. In addition, DOROT has other workshops, trainings and get-togethers for volunteers.
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