Tory Chasin – Teen Internship Program
DOROT volunteer since: Summer 2009
How did you get involved with DOROT?
I was looking for something to do during the summer and my guidance counselor asked what I was interested in. I replied, “Helping old people!” She asked where I lived and when I said W. 86th Street she asked if I had ever heard of DOROT. She described the organization and I thought it was exactly what I was looking for and it was close to home! I wanted to continue volunteering during the school year but I was on the track team so I didn’t have enough time. Unfortunately and ironically, I have an injury and couldn’t run anymore so I decided to ask Sarit if there was a way for me to volunteer during the school year. She told me to be here every Wednesday and I’ve been a part of the school year internship ever since.
What type of volunteer activities do you do?
I usually do friendly visits to seniors which includes talking to them in their home, computer visits (teaching basic computer skills to seniors), meal drop-offs, sending out birthday cards for seniors (which is very fun!) and I am also on the Next Generation Teen Board at DOROT. This is really cool because the board is made up of other teenagers. We meet once a month to plan events and try to recruit others teens to join.
In what ways has your DOROT volunteer experience impacted your life?
I want to be a published writer so volunteering at DOROT has made me realize that each person is their own story. Everyone is so unique and everyone has a story to tell but you may never know it by just looking at them.
What motivates you to continue volunteering at DOROT?
I love working with older people. I love helping people in general. I want to either be a psychologist or a social worker in the future, working with older people, so my experiences here at DOROT will definitely help me along the way.
Most memorable volunteer moment?
Visiting Felix F. and Marco H. Mr. F. told us all about how he survived the Holocaust and traveled from place to place in hiding. He also told us about his dancing. Mr. F. is a dancer and so am I. One of the most memorable things he said about why he enjoyed being a dancer was, “You can do it when you’re old.” Looking at Mr. F., you would not believe he is still able to dance but he said, “Even though I can’t dance with my legs because I have bad knees, I can still dance with my arms!” Then he starts moving his arms all around. He said, “And when I can no longer dance with my arms, I can still dance with my head!” And he starts dancing with his head! Then he said, “And when I can’t dance with my head anymore, I will still be able to dance with my eyes!” He starts moving his eyes all around and it looked so funny but then it occurred to me that he was really dancing with his eyes! I never looked at dancing that way before even though I am a dancer.
What would you want other volunteers to know about volunteering at DOROT?
I would say that working with older people is not at all what it seems. It’s really so much different than you think. It’s really learning about people in your community and hearing about all the different and wonderful things they have done with their lives.
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