2ROOFS is Whatcom County's own social real estate team. Every sale helps house a person in need at no additional cost to you. See how it works HERE.
Thank you to Josh & Carrie, another 2roofs client! The purchase of your property has helped elderly and adults with functional disabilities remain independent in their own homes through volunteers at the Opportunity Council's Volunteer Chore Program.
Volunteers Help People Remain in their Own Homes
“Volunteering fulfills my need to participate. I’ve always volunteered. Before my kids grew up, my volunteering was kid-related. Now that they’re grown, I like working with the elderly.” Jenny has been volunteering with the Volunteer Chore program since the spring of 2017. The Volunteer Chore Program assists the elderly and adults with disabilities in completing tasks which enable them to remain independent. Chore clients are those who “fall through the cracks” in that they do not qualify for other available programs. Chore fills that gap. Jenny has volunteered for several community agencies, but she finds the Chore program the most fulfilling. “Every job is different. I usually sign up for the one-time needs, such as repairs, organization, hooking up TV’s and stereos, or helping people unpack after moving. Chore offers variety. For me, I don’t want to do ongoing jobs like gardening or house cleaning because I clean up enough at my own house.” Jenny has gained some construction skills over the years, so she is happy to see that Chore offers her some challenges. “I install faucets, fix toilet seats, things like that. Most of the tasks I choose are short-term, immediate fixes. They allow me to think outside the box. I remember coming up with an innovative way of repairing a kitchen floor on an older mobile home. My work enabled the client to get her wheelchair close enough that she could reach the sink without worrying about her floor falling through. She called me a ‘lifesaver.’”
“There is so much need in Whatcom County. Volunteers can drive people to appointments, deliver food boxes, mow yards. But the greatest need is companionship. Older people have stories to tell, and they want to share those stories with someone. Some of them spend a great deal of time in isolation. Maybe they don’t drive, and they have TV’s and cell phones for companionship. A volunteer serving as a positive face and a listening ear can have such an impact.” Jenny’s work with the elderly is close to her heart because of her parents’ situation. “My dad had a kidney transplant 50 years ago. Over the years he has faced great health challenges, including three hip replacements and total immobility for the last five years. He has been in and out of five different nursing homes, but my little five-foot mom is his primary caregiver. I know how hard it is for her to take care of him. Support makes such a huge difference.” Jenny also remembers a period of disability she herself experienced after three months of immobility from a car accident. “Can you imagine? I had two little girls to take care of. Family and friends started crawling out of the woodwork to help, and I can’t even express how much that help meant. They got me through it.” Jenny has advice for anyone considering volunteer work. “It’s all about finding a good fit for yourself. Taking care of yourself has to come first. Self-preservation is a very big deal. For me, the gratification, the hugs, they offer me fulfillment.” Chore is all about self-preservation by helping people stay in their homes rather than enter into assisted living programs. Volunteers can commit to long-term or short-term tasks, but all Chore tasks are targeted at keeping people independent for as long as possible. “There are so many people here who really need and appreciate help. If people would spend just two hours a week volunteering, it would make such a huge difference in our community.”