Non-transportation volunteers needed now

On the Memorial Day weekend, we were in Austin, Texas for a grandson’s graduation from the University of Texas. You may recall that weekend had devastating flooding in Texas. We woke up on Sunday morning to hear what the damages were.

San Marcos was badly hit. The mayor came on the news to thank first responders, the National Guard, and many others, but also neighbors who helped people in need. Schools were shelters; 300 homes were reduced to slabs; 300 to 400 homes sustained damage; several hundred people were evacuated; 7,000 people were without power — all this within a 12-hour period from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. on May 24.

If you remember that weekend, you know it got worse. What struck me at the time was the mayor’s reference to “neighbors.” The San Marcos neighbors are not unlike the neighbors in our region. And, indeed, the neighbors, your neighbors, who provide the wonderful services that Community Caregivers arranges for those in need. We connect those who can help with those who need it.

Mary Morrison, Caregivers Transportation Coordinator says we need drivers for St. Vincents’ Food Pantry on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month from 12:30 2:30 p.m. Last week, I drove six people.

If there are two drivers, you can divvy the rides up and each spend one hour instead of two. Here is an example of literally devoting one or two hours a month to volunteering.

These folks have many groceries to get home. Some have farther to go than others. I know my help is appreciated.

There are also seven or eight people who Mary says have requested assurance calls or visits. Mary explained some clients live with families but the members work. They’re safe but they’d like company.

Some people live alone, are elderly, and need some visitors and reassurance calls. What do you talk about or what do you do? Mary said that the caregivers give suggestions for activities or conversations. Reading, playing cards, watching TV as possible activities.

Building a relationship would be a good outcome. It’s also possible you might just keep the person safe while the caregiver gets some much-needed relief.

Upcoming orientation sessions are June 16 at noon, July 7 at 1 p.m., July 23 at 10 a.m., Aug. 4 at noon, and Aug. 17 at 5:30 p.m.. If none of these times work, you can always call the office to arrange a time that is best for you.  All orientations are held at the Caregivers’ office at 2021 Western Ave in Guilderland, Suite 4. Please call ahead, 456-2898, to let the staff know you’ll be there so they have enough materials.

Our lives fluctuate. If this is a good time frame, consider joining the Caregivers’ team. If you want to do something that matters, that’s another good reason.