Friendly Visitors.

by | March 10, 2020

One of the many volunteer opportunities at Resthaven are friendly one-to-one visitors. These volunteers offer friendship and companionship to an individual resident when they visit one of our facilities. The goal of these one-to-one visits is to create a friendship between the resident and the volunteer.

Natalie VanDrie, Resthaven’s volunteer coordinator, loves when people want to come to build relationships with residents. “There are always people around in our homes, but there is just something special about having someone come just for you – to spend time with you and get to know you,” said Natalie.

These volunteers make a big impact on our residents. “Volunteers who visit with our residents in a oneon-one capacity bring such joy to them. Often, volunteers visit people who prefer not to participate in large group programs,” said Abby Waldo, the Care Center’s recreational therapist.

One of our amazing one-to-one volunteers is Rebekah Brown who has been coming in twice a week since September 2019. Rebekah said she found a calling in volunteering and finds joy in her visits. “I became sucked in. You get to know everyone and I truly look forward to visiting.”

“Since our deepest desires as humans is to know and to be known, a friendly one-to-one visitor gives our residents a chance to be known and to offer their friendship to others. Rebekah does such an amazing job getting to know her Resthaven friends,” Natalie said.

Rebekah had volunteered before with her kids when they were younger, but never as a regular friendly visitor. She said that coming in consistently has allowed her to get to know everyone.

Abby Waldo sees these visits build relationships between residents and volunteers. “Residents truly get to know the volunteer, and they look forward to their visits. When Rebekah is on vacation, the residents she visits ask about her. Volunteers who visit one-on-one with residents develop friendships and a sense of community, which is so important in a setting like this.”

“I learned to play cribbage because one of the people I visit wanted to play!” Rebekah said. She didn’t know the game, but went home and Googled it and played it with her kids so she could come back and play cribbage.

“There is such a sense of community at Resthaven. The staff here are absolutely amazing. They have huge hearts. It’s truly a great place,” she said.