Help Your Neighbors: Volunteer for LifePath

Help Your Neighbors: Volunteer for LifePath

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April is National Volunteer Month!

This past year between staff and volunteers, LifePath supported over 5,000 individuals and families in our communities. LifePath is dedicated to the well-being of older adults, individuals with disabilities, and caregivers. Every day, our teams seek to create integrated systems of care that are culturally responsive and informed by best practice. At LifePath, we believe ALL people have the right to maintain quality of life, dignity, and independence as valued members of our communities.

With a strong employee workforce and robust volunteer teams, LifePath has been operating volunteer-based programs for decades. Long-term LifePath volunteer-based programs include Benefits Counseling (13 years), Money Management (31 years), SHINE (30 years), and Healthy Living (12 years).

In the United States, April is National Volunteer Month, a time to recognize all individuals who give their time and energy to make the world a better place. Volunteerism is at the core of our work, and we have over 10 LifePath staff managers whose primary responsibility is recruiting, training, and managing volunteers. With 120 staff members and 275 volunteers, LifePath’s volunteers are giving their time, energy, and hearts to helping others. Every year, there are at least another 50 new volunteers who join our annual LifePath Walkathon outreach efforts (mark your calendar for Saturday, May 6!).

Come join us at LifePath—and help us recruit volunteers for the following programs: Healthy Living, Rides for Health, Meals on Wheels, Money Management, Grocery Shopping, Phone Pals, Home Safety, Rainbow Elders, SHINE (Serving the Health Insurance Needs of Everyone), and others.

Dave G. of Greenfield, a LifePath Grocery Shopping Volunteer, explains, “I love helping people get the groceries they need—when they get the food stuff, they appreciate me . . . Whatever the reason that someone cannot shop for a few hours of service, [I can help] keep their health on top.”

Here are just a few recent volunteer success stories:

  • Our recent Healthy Living Workshop, led by 2 volunteers, helped 12 participants learn about how to prevent falls.

  • One Rides for Health volunteer in Warwick drives a woman living in Athol to medical appointments in Gardner. (Last month our R4H volunteers provided 27 rides to 12 clients!)

  • Every week, our Meals on Wheels program brings a cheerful hello, and a hot meal to over 550 individuals. Because of the addition of providing dinner and weekend meals, our home-delivered meals kitchen in Erving puts together close to 3,500 meals per week. Right now, LifePath has 36 drivers and 55 routes: We need 4 more drivers to help out!

  • Grocery shopping fills a gap that supports someone in maintaining their independence and living longer at home. A bi-weekly trip to the grocery store can help an individual who is no longer able to move easily and get out on their own. It can make all the difference. We need 4 more shoppers!

  • As a Money Management volunteer, Janet helps an individual pay their rent and their bills two times a month for about an hour. The result of this simple support means someone who may be at risk of eviction or foreclosure can stay in their home.

  • Last weekend, LifePath’s Home Safety team of 6 volunteers made “home safety fixes” at four different homes in one day! They had fun together and made a huge difference in the lives of four people who live alone and need help.

Lisa B. of Shelburne, a LifePath Grocery Shopping Volunteer, says, “I found out about LifePath in a search to get assistance for some aging friends. The care they received from LifePath staff, and volunteers, was very helpful and they were grateful to have help that allowed them to stay in their home. Volunteering in my community is important to me, and knowing what a difference LifePath made for my friends led me to look into ways I could volunteer with them and help other folks in need of assistance. I’ve been grocery shopping for a woman in Charlemont for about a month now and it’s been a joy to get to know a neighbor I would not have met if I hadn’t signed up to volunteer. It is nice knowing such a small thing for me is helping make someone else’s life better. And, I have made a lovely new connection in the process.”

Come join us and help your neighbors! It is both good for the community and good for you. To volunteer with LifePath, please visit our Volunteer page. According to past volunteers, it’s an extremely rewarding experience. Or call LifePath at 413-773-5555 and ask for Volunteer Resources.

For even more info about volunteering, check out the Athol/Orange AOTV Shining Lights LifePath interview.

Susan White
Susan White, Associate Director of Volunteer Resources