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DOROT Westchester

 


Michael and Ilene Ausubel - Package Delivery

How long have you been a DOROT volunteer?

We have been volunteers since 2014.

How did you get involved with DOROT?

We were looking for a hands-on volunteer opportunity that we could do together making a difference in the Jewish community. DOROT was the obvious choice given the organization’s stellar reputation as an organization that meets the needs of older adults.

What type of volunteer activities do you do at DOROT?

We do the Package Delivery on a regular basis and Michael has also escorted seniors on cemetery visits.

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

After a few volunteer package deliveries we were given the opportunity to visit the most wonderful couple. It was clear from our first visit that we connected with them that this couple was special and that we wanted to get know them better. So, over the years, we have developed a truly beautiful friendship visiting them for every holiday package delivery. Now that our two-year-old daughter visits with us, it’s been really special to see how she has connected with them as well. She talks about them all the time and knows that she has this special couple in her life.

What motivates you to continue volunteering at DOROT?

For us, DOROT is not simply an unparalleled chesed opportunity. It is the epitome of community service we get to carve out time and actively be there for our neighbors across generations. We’re able to make a small difference for local seniors - change light bulbs or update clocks for daylight saving time. Simple things that help residents age comfortably in place. As DOROT volunteers, we strengthen bonds of our local community - what a privilege!

And the experience is its own reward. Now that we’ve developed a close relationship with the same couple over several years, we wouldn’t want to miss even a single visit. We’re excited to see our friends again -- find out how they’re doing, how they’re feeling, what their children and grandchildren are up to. And they’ve gotten to see our daughter grow and be able to interact more each visit.

Most memorable volunteer moment:

After our daughter was born, we sent a birth announcement to the couple we visit through DOROT’s holiday package program. When we came with the pre-Rosh Hashanah package that fall, we saw our baby’s photo on their mantel alongside pictures of their own children and grandchildren. We realized at that moment that this couple thought of us as part of their extended family.

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

Volunteering with DOROT means changing lives - both yours and the people you visit. And it can be addictive: The high-quality experiences we have with DOROT always make us want to do more!

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