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DOROT Westchester


Gary Mills — Volunteer Services

Gary Mills How long have you been a DOROT Volunteer?

22 years!

How did you get involved with DOROT?

A friend had recommended DOROT as a great organization. So I walked in and got involved.

What type of volunteer activities do you do at DOROT?

I began with a program called Project Open in Lincoln Towers where I taught bridge to the seniors. Now, I escort seniors to the cemetery, visit seniors during Package Deliveries, wait on tables, greet and host seniors at the Thanksgiving Banquet. In the past, I was also a Friendly Visitor for many years.

Now living an hour north of the City, my activities are somewhat limited but I still manage to volunteer and even participate in the Package Deliveries in Westchester.

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

Some folks think that when they write a check to a charity, they are doing their part. For me by volunteering for DOROT, I am actively giving a gift in a more meaningful way.

What motivates you to continue volunteering at DOROT?

I am amazed at the diversity of the seniors I meet: A partially–blind college professor who is reading again thanks to special equipment; a 90–year old woman who goes to the gym daily and walks the ten blocks each way; a dancer who showed mementos from the years he was with the Israeli Ballet. When I sit down and chat with these people, it’s an eye–opening experience for me.

Most memorable volunteer moment:

After teaching bridge for a year at Project Open, I held a graduation ceremony, complete with diplomas and “Pomp and Circumstance” playing on cassette.

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

We’re always chasing the almighty dollar and then spending it to enjoy ourselves. Why not let DOROT give you a chance to help others? DOROT gives you the opportunity to give back to the community at large.

Anything else you would like to share?

When I was a child, I remember my father taking me to the local Veteran’s Hospital, where he was doing volunteer work. I didn’t appreciate the experience; I would have rather been out playing with my friends. I’m sure the seed to volunteer was planted back then.

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