Jenn Hercman - College Volunteer Coordinator
DOROT volunteer since: 2007
How did you get involved with DOROT?
One of my friends was the previous CVC (Campus Volunteer Coordinator) and created an “Adopt-a-Bubby” program at NYU.
What type of volunteer activities do you do?
I am the CVC at NYU. I coordinated students to make Purim packages for DOROT seniors then organized students to deliver the packages and spend time visiting with seniors. We did some activities for Purim, we also had an intergenerational Bingo and Brunch with seniors and students on the NYU campus. And I also coordinated students to bake challahs and then we brought them to seniors’ homes on Friday afternoons.
After a year of visiting with the seniors in their homes, we brought the seniors to NYU and they got to see where we live!
In what ways has your DOROT volunteer experience impacted your life?
I had always had a soft spot for seniors, starting with my own grandparents. I always did brunch with my grandparents and water aerobics with my grandma. Once I got involved with DOROT, I got to see how isolated seniors can be, even if they have family. Providing this opportunity of bringing the seniors and the NYU students together has been really special.
What motivates you to continue volunteering at DOROT?
The happiness and fulfillment that it has on every level — from the volunteers and seniors — is what makes it worth it. There is so much to learn from both the students and seniors and that’s what keeps me involved.
Most memorable volunteer moment?
When I went with my older brother, who was at NYU at the time, to visit a woman for Purim. We had such a nice time we made a plan to visit her again. She had a huge smile on her face and she told us that she remembered my smile but told me that the hamentashen were hard to get down.
What would you want other volunteers to know about volunteering at DOROT?
Specifically for college students, while is seems difficult to give of your own time, this particular cause gives you a new appreciation for everything in your life. You can see just how special it is to connect with someone and how much you can have in common with someone who is seemingly so different than you are. Of all chesed opportunities there are, interacting with seniors is so easy because they are so willing to share with you. It’s an effortless chesed and so much to be gained.
I think everyone should get involved. The DOROT family in conjunction with the seniors is so great. The path is basically paved for you, just take the first step.
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