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DOROT Westchester


Josh Moriarty - Teen Internship Program

How long have you been a DOROT volunteer?

I’ve been a DOROT volunteer since the fall of 2013, my freshman year of high school.

How did you get involved with DOROT?

I joined DOROT because my older sister was a teen intern during high school and spoke highly of her experience in the program.

What type of volunteer activities do you do at DOROT?

I’ve been a teen intern for my four years with DOROT. As a teen intern, I volunteer for DOROT on a weekly basis during the school year. During my first two years, I visited seniors in their homes almost every week to provide them with company, teach technology use, and deliver care packages. I worked in DOROT’s office on weeks when I was not paired with a senior, writing birthday cards, stuffing envelopes, and organizing files.

Since the beginning of my junior year, I have called the same senior each week. We discuss my life, her life, and current events. Our calls are one of the highlights of my week.

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

My experiences with DOROT have enriched my life tremendously. On my visits, I’ve listened to fascinating stories from hippies, business people, actors, and artists. I’m interested in history and talking to people who have lived through the events that I’ve learned about in school has enhanced my understanding of and appreciation for the subject.

My work with DOROT gives me a meaningful break from my extracurricular and school work and helps to remind me of the relative unimportance of whichever assignment I’m stressed about. It has opened my eyes to many of the problems that seniors in New York face and made me more aware of the importance of outreach to seniors.

What motivates you to continue volunteering at DOROT?

Although I have not had much free time in high school, I have continued my work for DOROT because of how valuable it is for both me and the seniors who participate in the program. DOROT allows me to give back in a way that I enjoy and benefit from I could not imagine my high school experience without DOROT.

Most memorable volunteer moment:

While I have had many memorable volunteer moments, one that has always stood out to me occurred in one of my early years with DOROT, when I visited an elderly woman’s home with another teen intern. Our host immediately sat us down in the kitchen and, after some preliminary small talk, began to tell us her life story. We sat in rapt attention for over half an hour as she outlined the arc of her life, telling us about her idyllic childhood in Vienna, the horrors of the Holocaust, and her attempts to create a new life in America as an adult. The story of her life was quite moving it reminded me of my own grandmother’s and the way in which she told it was very powerful. It was clear that she wanted to share her story with younger people, and that our DOROT visits were one of her only ways of doing so. I felt privileged to meet her and to hear her story firsthand.

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

Working with DOROT is an experience that anyone would enjoy. I leave every visit feeling better than I do when I go in, and have learned so much from the seniors I have met through the program.

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