Gary Gomer — Thanksgiving Banquet & Holiday Package Delivery programs
(Mr. Pre–match/Mr. Kitchen)
DOROT volunteer since: 1987
How did you get involved with DOROT?
My wife, Sara Peller, has worked at DOROT since 1986 and I’ve always been impressed with the varied programs the agency offers, from Friendly Visiting to Holiday Package Deliveries, the Homeless Prevention Program, University Without Walls and other special programs like concerts and the Thanksgiving Banquet. In keeping with the diversity of programs, there are so many varied ways to volunteer at DOROT and I’m happy to have found ways to get involved.
What type of volunteer activities do you do?
I volunteer at each of the Package Deliveries by serving at the Pre–Match table, which brings me into contact with so many committed volunteers and the energetic DOROT staff. I also work in the kitchen at the Thanksgiving Banquet and it’s wonderful to be part of a core group of kitchen returnees that is able to effectively assist the caterer in serving some 300 meals.
In what ways has your DOROT volunteer experience impacted your life?
I appreciate the opportunity to participate in this wonderful work that means so much to the seniors that are touched by it.
What motivates you to continue volunteering at DOROT?
I love the energy of the programs I participate in and it’s very satisfying to be able to contribute to DOROT’s efforts to serve the elderly.
Most memorable volunteer moment?
I love peeking out of the kitchen at the Thanksgiving Banquet and seeing hundreds of seniors — some quite frail — all enjoying this special meal together. I also appreciate that the volunteers serving the meal at Thanksgiving and participating in the Package Deliveries include parents with children, teenagers, college students and folks from their 30’s to 70’s.
What would you want other volunteers to know about volunteering at DOROT?
DOROT does not believe that one size fits all. Just as there are many ways that DOROT serves seniors, there are varied ways to become involved as a volunteer. I volunteer a few times a year while other volunteers visit seniors weekly. Others may deliver a package for one of the holidays. I think that anyone who appreciates the creative ways that DOROT serves the elderly will find that DOROT also offers them a way to become involved.
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