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DOROT Westchester


Carol Chaykin — Occasional Volunteering

How long have you been a DOROT volunteer?

I’ve been a DOROT volunteer for about two years, this go-round. But I’ve also volunteered in the past, occasionally and sporadically, starting in the 1980s.

How did you get involved with DOROT?

A few years ago, I decided to deliver holiday packages with the then newly formed Engage team at the JCC. Engage turned out to be a feeder organization for DOROT’s holiday package delivery program. During check-in at DOROT’s offices, I picked up and read some of the brochures in DOROT’s lobby. I was amazed at the variety of programs and services offered by DOROT… Even computer tutoring - what a great way to leverage my professional experience as an IT professional and also make a difference in some people’s lives!

What type of volunteer activities do you do at DOROT?

I have been a computer tutor for DOROT since 2013. It’s always interesting, as every client has different needs - some want to use email, some are interested in surfing the web, others have more specialized needs (Apple TV, printer problems, photo sharing, etc.). And sometimes it’s quite challenging, as clients have different devices and operating systems, even occasionally from Eastern Europe and South America… and not in English!

In what ways has your DOROT volunteer experience impacted your life?

I’m glad to make a difference in people’s lives, even in a small way. Also, working with seniors who have lived long and full lives some of them quite remarkable — I’m reminded again and again how special each and every person is.

What motivates you to continue volunteering at DOROT?

I enjoy making technology more accessible for others. I am delighted that my background has provided me with skills to help others, and seniors in particular, feel more comfortable with computers, tablets, and iPhones.

Most memorable volunteer moment

Haha! That would be resetting a modem while balancing on a ladder in a client’s bedroom closet! More seriously, there have been many memorable moments especially those “Aha! moments” when students realize that they can use their new tablet, they can use email, they can surf the Web!

What would you want other volunteers to know about volunteering at DOROT?

Since you are reading this, there is probably a spark in you that wants to help others. My advice to you is… do it! DOROT has many different activities and services. There’s sure to be one that suits you. If you’re new at volunteering, be assured that DOROT provides orientation, training and support.

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