Bill Siegler — Friendly Visiting
DOROT volunteer since: 2008
How did you get involved with DOROT?
About 15 years ago I worked with a woman who often told me about the amazing experience she was having visiting a senior. That always stuck with me as something I might like to do. Realizing that I was now retired, there was nothing holding me back. With the encouragement of the Director of DOROT East Reeva Mager, I signed up, and as they say, “the rest is history.”
What type of volunteer activities do you do?
In addition to being a DOROT Friendly Visitor, I am active in a number of volunteer activities at the Producers Guild of America (PGA). There I co–chair the Student Committee, am a member of the Nominating Committee, the Community Action Committee, and have recently worked with Habitat for Humanity to set up a “build” for members of the PGA.
In what ways has your DOROT volunteer experience impacted your life?
It has made me realize that helping others is something I always knew I wanted to do. In my case, I was able to bring some humor and lightness to a very ill person, who spent most of his time without any real interaction. He had no family, but did have a few loyal friends. As non–communicative as he was, I was happy to bring some outside stimulation.
What motivates you to continue volunteering at DOROT?
To paraphrase Mel Brooks, “we mock the things we are to be.” I’d like to believe that there will be someone willing to be part of my life when I am less able to do certain things for myself. I know our visits are truly appreciated, and that is a wonderful feeling.
Most memorable volunteer moment?
It’s very hard to say in my case, as I have only visited with one person, who as I mentioned was, though appreciative, very un–responsive. Perhaps listening to him laugh at the Damon Runyon short stories I read to him. He was in show biz, so the stories of Broadway characters appealed to him.
What would you want other volunteers to know about volunteering at DOROT?
As I’ve said at the various Friendly Visiting gatherings we have had, “it’s not about me.” Thus my advice is that, “it’s not about you.”
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