An ‘average Joe’ is a hero to those he helps

Why do people volunteer?  The answers are as varied as the people I interviewed. I asked some of Caregivers’ volunteers what actually motivated them to volunteer.

John Meany — he likes to be called Jack — started volunteering three or four years ago after his wife died. Jack’s daughter had passed along copies of The Enterprise, and it was there he learned about Caregivers.

He thought, “If it pans out, so much the better.” Later he said, “Volunteering helped me through that time.”  It filled his empty time.

Jack does transportation twice a week. Mostly, he takes people to doctors for their appointments, sometimes to a hospital. Sometimes “…transporting for radiation, you get to know them [the clients]. After a while, people open up.” He continued, “After I got into it, I found that it really is keeping people in their homes. It’s doing what its mission says.”

So Jack started out as a volunteer for what he said was ”…a perceived, personal need.” There was no pressure from Community Caregivers.

And, after a while, he realized he looked forward to it; it was rewarding to satisfy someone’s needs.  “There’s a degree of satisfaction,” he said. “It’s hard to describe.”

Jack likes meeting people, and he sees that the people he helps are so appreciative.  He often finds himself saying, “That was a good mission today.”

Jack doesn’t want to portray himself as a hero or somebody who is outstanding. He calls himself ”…just an average Joe.” Jack joins Community Caregivers’ family in choosing to make a difference in his community by helping others maintain their independence, dignity, and quality of life.

Most of Caregivers’ volunteers don’t think of themselves as heroes, but they certainly are to those they help. Consider calling the office at 456-2878 to sign up for an orientation. The Fall schedule is first Tuesdays at 10 or Third Thursdays at noon.