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DOROT Westchester


J. Heinlein - Westchester Volunteer

How long have you been a DOROT volunteer?

I have been a volunteer with DOROT for over 6 years.

How did you get involved with DOROT?

In 2011 I left my job in Finance, and was looking for another volunteering experience. I had been spending most of my time coaching my children in youth sports, but wanted to also find a way to spend time with seniors. One day while in the local Post Office, I came across a DOROT volunteer flyer. Once I met with the social worker, heard more about DOROT, and did my first package delivery, I was hooked.

What type of volunteer activities do you do at DOROT?

I started with the package deliveries. When I realized how much I enjoyed exchanging stories with the people I brought packages to, I asked to become a weekly friendly visitor. I then found myself sharing my DOROT stories with my family, over our Friday night Shabbat dinners…….that’s when we all decided to start doing package deliveries as a family, which was has been going on for about 3-4 years now.

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

I now realize how lucky I am to get to sit down weekly with my DOROT friends, to hear about their life experiences, during times I only read about previously. Seeing the twinkle in an eye, or the tear on a cheek as the person relives the experience, makes me feel like I’m don’t get that from reading a book.

What motivates you to continue volunteering at DOROT?

The smile I see when I walk through the door of a Senior I visit with, AND the smile I have on my face, as I walk out that same door.

Most memorable volunteer moment:

I started visiting with a gentleman who wanted nothing to do with a weekly visitor. After visiting with the gentleman for several months, one of his daughters told me he referred to me as his “best friend”...I walked around with a smile on my face for weeks thinking about that.

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

If you want to test the waters, start with a package delivery. A wise man once said to me, “If you aren’t talking to your parents and grandparents about their youth, you are missing out on some fascinating life stories.” I look forward to visiting with him every week.

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