Volunteers from A Helping Hand share their volunteering experiences.
I am a technical volunteer with a helping hand and my office work and client placement has reflected that. Before I underwent home-care training, I could only help around the office. Most of the issues I fixed were email related. My most rewarding experiences, have been client related. The client I am mostly partnered with is visually impaired. At our weekly sessions, I help her navigate internet sites with her JAWS screen reader. My client really appreciates the one-on-one attention I am able to give her. Since her family does not live within driving distance, I am the only help she has. Every time I show up she excitedly shows me the new To Do list she wants to complete. I leave our sessions knowing that I am giving her the tools to participate in today’s technological world.
I have also participated in other events A Helping Hand offers. I was one of their representatives at the local Senior Resource Fair. The Fair was a unique event to be a part of because it allowed seniors to see many opportunities the surrounding area has to offer for them. Valentine’s Day at A Helping Hand is one of my favorite times. It is very hectic but they help provide Valentines for many of the community’s seniors. I was able to deliver some of the Valentines, and every one who received one was very grateful that they had been remembered that day.
My experience with A Helping Hand has been very rewarding. Volunteering with AHH presented me the opportunity to work with many individuals, each with a unique story. For the most part, I provided basic tech support for most of my clients. I was able to meet regularly with a visually-impaired individual that had never used a computer before. When we met, we worked through the basics of operating a computer. This presented challenges for both of us but we were able to work through it. It was great to see that after a few weeks, the client was able to use the computer independently. I really enjoyed working with this client and am proud that I was able to help this client connect with family and friends through the internet.
I also worked with AHH as a videographer for their annual Valentine’s Day celebration. I was able to meet with many of the seniors at the senior living community and enjoyed the company of many AHH volunteers. The show was excellent and the enthusiasm of the older adults was encouraging to see.
I’ve been a computer assistant with A Helping Hand for a couple months now. My work has ranged from showing people how to type on an Ipad, to installing anti-virus software onto a laptop. While the work itself is usually easy, the chance to meet and get to know all of the clients I’ve visited has been an absolute joy. I’ve met a couple from England, two women from New York City, a Reverend from rural North Carolina, and many other interesting people. Everyone I’ve worked with has been so kind to me, often offering me a drink or snack. On almost every visit there has been a genuine interest from the clients and myself to get to know one another. Most of the clients I’ve visited have been somewhat shy, almost ashamed, of the questions they have about computers. One woman kept saying, “I know this is gonna make me sound dumb, but…”. This particular woman was a lot more competent with computers than she gave herself credit. The fact is, many of these people didn’t grow up using computers the way my generation has. It’s not that they can’t begin to understand computers at this point in their lives, it’s that they need someone to show them some of the basics about how computers work
The result of the hard work by the volunteers here and nationwide can be seen in the benefits and statistics of the senior citizen population.