(Todd Lawrence, Volunteer Coordinator)
There is no vaccine for loneliness. No prescription for isolation. These are the symptoms of the COVID-19 virus that science and technology cannot hope to cure. Simply said, people need other people. It’s a matter of medical significance.
For more than 10 years, our patient care volunteers have dedicated themselves to showing up for our patients. So, it has been painful to shut down. Every one of our volunteers thinks about our patients. They know that they are there, and they know that this time has been especially hard for them.
Resuming volunteer visits while the COVID-19 pandemic is still raging is, ultimately, an act of courage. I have been struck, as I approached volunteers about a return to activity, by the enthusiasm and determination that always colors their responses. They know they are needed, and it appears they are ready to get back to service.
The process of “getting back” isn’t an easy one. It requires an organizational commitment. Many of our senior clinical staff have dedicated their time to developing an enhanced volunteer training program that ensures the safety of volunteers and patients alike. Our human resources department is gathering new documentation, and we’ll need to figure out how to do new tasks like making personal protective equipment available to volunteers all over the Portland metro area. Finally, dozens of volunteers will have to work with us to attend online trainings, meet new documentation requirements and integrate new safety practices into their previous routine.
That said, I am very happy to announce our intention to bring Housecall Providers volunteers back to the lives of our patients early in 2022. If you would like to be a part of our amazing team, please reach out to me at 971-202-5515 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!