‘Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve’

Community Caregivers serves individuals who need help to stay independent at home and connected to their communities. Our model of service relies upon volunteers to carry out our mission of neighbor helping neighbor throughout communities in Albany County.

What does the mission look like on a daily basis?

It depends upon the need of the person requesting our services. For example, in one instance, we have assigned a volunteer to visit and reminisce with an elderly man whose only other company is the television.

In another case, a volunteer regularly shops for a woman who is homebound but wants her grocery list completed with care and personal attention to her preferences.

Yet another woman with multiple health challenges and no family, relies upon our volunteer drivers to get to regular medical appointments; she enjoys the time to chat and share stories along the way.

We have dozens of examples where simple acts make life better for those around us. Transportation represents about 60 percent of the services we provide throughout the year. Visits, calls, shopping, and other services make up the other 40 percent.

Our professional staff carefully matches our clients with vetted volunteers. We do not charge for the services we offer.

Now, why do you need to know this?

The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. once stated, “Everybody can be great … because anybody can serve.” We agree; everyone can do something to help. We hope that there is a way that you might be inspired to help us help others. How?

— Volunteer. You can help by becoming a volunteer or spreading the word to someone you know would like to volunteer. Our volunteer sessions are held twice monthly; we offer many ways to volunteer. One is sure to be something you would enjoy;

— Ask us out! Please invite us to speak to your civic or faith group to talk about our mission and volunteer opportunities;

— Donate to our organization. We rely upon donations and grants and welcome donations throughout the year. We host popular fundraising events, including a golf tournament in June and a gala in November.

If you are a talented local artist, perhaps you would like to donate to our silent auction. Local businesses can help too.

Recently, we asked a longtime volunteer why she volunteers with Community Caregivers and she said, “It is very rewarding to help our neighbors. Our clients are very appreciative of our services and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my years of volunteering with Community Caregivers.”

If you would like to reap the rewards of volunteering, please register for a New Volunteer Orientation. While anyone age 18 or older may attend and there is no obligation to sign up as a volunteer, we do ask that you register.

Our early spring schedule follows:

— Thursday, March 7, at 1 p.m.;

— Thursday, March 14, at 9 a.m.;

— Tuesday, March 26, at 1 p.m.; and

— Tuesday, April 2, at noon.

Sessions, except for March 14, will be in our Guilderland office at 2021 Western Ave., Suite 104. On March 14, our morning session will be over a cup of coffee in Delmar.

For more information and to register, please call 518-456-2898 or send a message to  volunteer@communitycaregivers.org.

Community Caregivers Inc. is a not-for-profit organization that provides non-medical services including transportation and caregiver support at no charge to residents of Guilderland, Bethlehem, Altamont, New Scotland, Berne, Knox, and the city of Albany through a strong volunteer pool of dedicated individuals with a desire to assist their neighbors.

Editor’s note: Linda Miller is the Outreach and Education coordinator for Community Caregivers.