“Thirty eight years ago, DOROT began this hallmark program to bring volunteers of all ages into the homes of older adults for a meaningful visit along with a package of holiday foods."
New York, NY (PRWEB) August 28, 2014
On Sunday, September 14th, hundreds of volunteers of all ages will meet at DOROT, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to alleviate social isolation among the elderly. They will pick up packages of food and other treats before making their way to deliver them to over 500 older adults in New York City and Westchester.
The visits are part of the 9/11 National Day of Service and Remembrance, a federally-funded program, as well as in celebration of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.
Months before the Package Delivery day, an intergenerational committee of teens, college students and DOROT seniors will select up to three handmade designs from over 800 submitted for the 9/11 National Day of Service postcard.
During the week before the delivery day, volunteers and elders will pack bags together with the postcards and food items that have been donated, including apples, honey, and other festive treats.
On the day of the Package Delivery, volunteers will deliver the bags to elders and help them fill out the postcards, which will be sent to first responders. The visitors will stay for about an hour, sharing stories and memories, having meaningful conversations, and developing friendships with elders.
“Often at holidays, the loneliness and isolation of older adults is more pronounced,” said Mark Meridy, Executive Director of DOROT. “Thirty eight years ago, DOROT began this hallmark program to bring volunteers of all ages into the homes of older adults for a meaningful visit along with a package of holiday foods. It is a wonderful opportunity for stories to be shared across the generations. Each year, I am pleased to hear feedback from the volunteers and seniors that a one hour visit makes such a huge difference.”
Volunteers living in Westchester will also participate by meeting at the JCC of Mid-Westchester for orientation and to pick up their packages before visiting seniors in their county.
DOROT has several Package Deliveries a year, including for Thanksgiving, winter, and Passover. Many volunteers who participate in these go on to become Friendly Visitors to the seniors they deliver packages to. Friendly Visiting, another DOROT program, carefully matches volunteers with elders based on personality, preferences and availability, and asks volunteers to commit to visiting their older friend once a week for a minimum of one full year, with many matches lasting longer.
For more information about DOROT and about the September 14th Package Delivery, or Friendly Visiting, please visit http://www.dorotusa.org.