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DOROT Westchester


Stefanie Jackowitz — Homelessness Prevention Program (HPP)

How long have you been a DOROT volunteer?

I have been a volunteer at DOROT’s Homelessness Prevention Program for almost two years.

How did you get involved with DOROT?

I was looking for a volunteer position that would make a difference in people's lives and also be rewarding for me. I went to the New York Cares website and saw a list of organizations. I chose DOROT. Although DOROT offers many wonderful programs for assisting seniors, I wanted to work with a population who have experienced life changes leaving them in a disadvantaged place. I met with Elazar Stepansky, Director of Aftercare, and started volunteering.

What type of volunteer activities do you do at DOROT?

I help prepare and serve meals for residents and dinners on a weekly basis. What's amazing about DOROT’s Homelessness Prevention Program is that they provide services for those living in their transitional housing facility and those who are now in more permanent housing. Everyone is invited back to DOROT and services are not cut off just because they no longer live on premises. In addition to meals, I have helped to lead a nutrition program with dinners. During the months of June through October, the program receives leftover fruits and vegetables from a local CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). I help lead dinners and participants in bagging and organizing the fresh produce. The experience is always a positive one, where the seniors are actively involved in assisting while also learning about healthy eating.

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

There are so many ways this volunteer experience has made a difference in my life - it's hard to really articulate in words. I feel that I've grown so much as a person through the connections I've made with the wonderful seniors I've met.

What motivates you to continue volunteering at DOROT?

I've witnessed the importance of the connections the seniors make with each other through DOROT’s ability to bring them together.

Most memorable volunteer moment:

Leading a group session about ways to help the environment through recycling and the day I made latkes for the group! Lots of the seniors loved them and wanted more!

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

Many of the program participants have told me directly how wonderful the DOROT program is and how they enjoy being a part of it. And I see it firsthand. In addition to providing housing, meals and social services to the participants, the Homelessness Prevention Program organizes events from movie trips to Oscar watch parties and holiday dinners.

Anything else you would like to share?

Get involved! Visit the Programs section on this website for more information on the Homelessness Prevention Program or call (212) 580-0001.

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