From a Ohio Compeer Program Coordinator
I want to share an amazing Compeer experience I had yesterday. A client named Carol had an appointment at our agency and I got to visit with her briefly. She cares for her mother at their home. Prior to agreeing to be matched, Carol was hesitant to leave home. She was matched with Volunteer Vicky in April, 2016.
Yesterday Carol told me that Vicky was meeting her at our agency in order to take their weekly walk. Our Health Campus has a lovely tree-filled walking path. Vicky arrived to meet Carol. She had walked from her home, one mile from our agency, due to recent car trouble. I got to visit with them. Immediately Carol said, “Vicky, let me drive you home afterward!” Vicky didn’t want to impose and said, “No, it’s okay. It’s only one mile.” Then Carol asked me, “Denise, please tell Vicky to allow me to drive her home after our walk on the path?” I smiled. Vicky spoke up and said “Okay, you’re right. I will take a ride home if it’s okay with you, Carol.” Then the ladies departed for their walk after I gave them Annual Picnic Invitations.
This interaction was so validating for a Compeer Coordinator! Not only has Carol become less isolated, she’s made a great friendship with Volunteer Vicky. Vicky was going to make that weekly walk with her new friend Carol regardless of car trouble! And Carol offered her Compeer Volunteer empathy, concern, and supportive assistance!! Amazing!! These two ladies will have a lasting friendship. Not to mention they are supporting each other in staying physically healthy -- their choice!!
From a NYS Compeer Director – Youth Program
Bonnie had been a high school English teacher for many years when she met Kate, then ten and in the fifth grade at a special school for emotionally disturbed children. Largely due to their Compeer friendship, Kate progressed through special education class in a public school to mainstreamed high school classes to graduating cum laude from a community college. Now about thirty, Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology from SUNY at Geneseo. Bonnie says, “Ours is a wonderful story of mutual growth and understanding, of two people meeting and having their lives equally enriched.