A Volunteer's Story
- Written by Jessica Riel
- Published: 01 December 2015
Meet Money Manager, Beverly Petravage
Money Management program, she’d already been volunteering for many years.Beverly Petravage retired just five months ago but, like many volunteers who make a difference in the lives of others through LifePath's
“I didn’t want to wait until I retired,” says Beverly.
Claire needed a little help, and Beverly knew she could do it
As a volunteer, Beverly currently works with one client, Claire*, who is 91 but still does her own cooking, cuts her grass in the summertime, and keeps her mind active in the long winter by completing 1000-piece jigsaw puzzles. Claire just needs help with managing her personal finances, and that’s where Beverly comes in. The two have been meeting monthly for about eight years.
“For her, this is really important. She needed someone to handle her checkbook,” says Beverly. For some people, that’s second nature, but for others, “that’s a daunting task.”
What's it like to be a volunteer Money Manager?
The whole bill-paying process only takes about thirty minutes to an hour once a month. Claire calls Beverly and arranges a time for her to come to her house. Together, Beverly and Claire go through her bills. “She piles them up for me. I do the checks. She signs it, licks the envelope, and puts on the stamps,” says Beverly. “She just loves paying her bills. She walks them right out to the mailbox.”
Beverly got started volunteering in the Money Management program after receiving a mailer that mentioned LifePath’s need for volunteers. Her educational and professional background has been an asset to her for this work. A former business education major, Beverly taught high school business classes, so she is very comfortable with the types of things she does for Claire, like balancing her checkbook and writing checks.
Even still, she’s confident that another person could volunteer as a Money Manager without a background in business or finance. “You get a lot out of it, just like volunteering to do anything,” she says. “It’s very gratifying to help someone. It has to be something you really enjoy doing. I don’t want it to feel like work.”
Meaningful for the elder - and the volunteer
After everything is taken care of, Beverly will stay and chat for a while longer before heading out. They’ll talk about Claire’s flowers - she has some growing out front and her home is filled with Christmas cacti. Sometimes Claire will give Beverly a gift, like an apple, and one time she gave her a Christmas cactus of her own. “It blooms around Christmas time,” Beverly explains, the flowers vibrant pinks and reds.
Beverly is glad to be able to help Claire in a way that is meaningful to both of them. “She knows she can depend on me,” says Beverly. “I enjoy it - helping someone that really needs the help, sharing knowledge that you know with someone else.”
(*name has been changed to protect privacy)
Volunteer opportunities near me
Find your volunteer opportunities with LifePath. Call us at 413-773-555 or 978-544-2259.