Friendship Volunteer Program
Mercy Care Friendship Volunteers give the gifts of companionship and friendship. They often develop long-lasting friendships with those they assist. Easing the isolation and loneliness of elders living at home, Friendship Volunteers respond to the individual needs of each care receiver. They provide the benefits of friendship, companionship, assistance, and spiritual care which are not or cannot be adequately provided by family or friends.
Becoming a Mercy Care Friendship Volunteer
Realizing that what little I give does not compare to how much I have received, especially as I reflect on my own life as an elder. Mercy Care Volunteer
Mercy Care Friendship Volunteers are caring people interested in enhancing the lives of elders in the Tri-Lakes region of the Adirondacks. Imagine the joy and comfort you, as a Mercy Care Friendship Volunteer, can bring to an elder neighbor’s life. Volunteers of all faiths are encouraged and welcome to join the Mercy Care family.
Training and Screening
Friendship Volunteers complete seven hours of training, covering topics from spiritual caregiving to community resources. Volunteers are screened through background checks, references, and personal interviews. Mercy Care acknowledges with deep appreciation these precious gifts of time and love. Training is offered free of charge but pre-registration is required. Please complete the Friendship Volunteer Training Registration Form and send to Jenn Grisi, Program Associate at firstname.lastname@example.org or for more information call Jenn at 518-523-5583.
“My elder friend and I have some nice conversations on our rides to Saranac Lake. She impresses me every time with her positive outlook on life, given her illness. Mercy Care is a wonderful blessing to the Adirondack seniors. I recommend it often to friends looking for something meaningful to volunteer for.”
Friendship Volunteer Training Schedule:
October 2nd and 9th, 2018 – Saranac Lake
Volunteer In-service Programs
Mercy Care offers its volunteers opportunities to participate in in-service programs throughout the year. In addition to a topical issue program, volunteers learn from each other while sharing their volunteer experiences. Mercy Care enjoys a volunteer retention rate of 88%.
Mercy Care’s Volunteer Programs are designed to ease isolation and loneliness of elders. It is meant to keep elders connected to their communities. Mercy Care has achieved significant progress from its first year of operations in 2008 when the goal was to recruit and train 15 Friendship Volunteers. Since 2008 Mercy Care has provided direct service to elders by recruiting and training more than 150 Friendship Volunteers who have contributed over 27,000 hours of carrying out errands of mercy for their elder neighbors in the Tri-Lakes area valued at over $650,000.
Mercy Care was recently featured on Mountain Lake PBS. Watch the clip below to see a typical day with two volunteer/elder teams.
Mercy Care’s role in the Friendship Volunteer Program:
- Recruits, trains, and screens volunteers
- Develops volunteer assignments
- Matches volunteers with those in need
- Conducts quality assurance protocol
- Tracks volunteer hours
- Provides in-service and networking opportunities for volunteers
- Recognizes volunteer contributions
- Evaluates volunteer programs to measure impact in the community