Okay so the important thing you need to know is that at the end of this long post, I'm going to ask for your money. So if you don't want to read it all, you can just skip ahead to the last paragraph (that's always where all the important stuff is anyway). If you do want to read, that's cool, too! But either way, give me your money!!
I feel like it should go without saying, but just to clarify, the money isn't for me. It's for my friend Kevin and the ~108,000 other Bostonians over the age of 65. As some folks know, this past January I started volunteering with a great organization called FriendshipWorks. The goal of this group is to combat elder isolation, which is one of the greatest threats to both mental and physical health among older adults. Extreme social disconnectedness is as damaging to health as smoking 15 cigarettes a day- which, according to my calculations, is Not Good.
What I've been doing as a volunteer with FriendshipWorks is pretty simple: I hang out with Kevin for a few hours each week. It's that basic!! Yes, I help him run errands and sort through his mail, which can be difficult for him to do himself due to being blind. But those things are secondary to the more important part, which is just visiting and talking with him. The seniors that reach out to FriendshipWorks are those that are already socially isolated, which means that my meeting with Kevin helps to combat the isolation he would experience otherwise (which, to reiterate, is Not Good).
The Friendly Visiting program is just one of the many great services that FriendshipWorks provides to elders. They also have volunteer medical escorts, volunteers that help with household repairs, and even volunteer pets!
Right now you're probably thinking, "Wow, this really seems like a wonderful organization, they should be showered with all the money they need to continue their important work!" Great point, hypothetical person reading this, I completely agree! Which is why on May 19th, Kevin and I will be participating in FriendshipWorks' Fourth Annual Walk to End Elder Isolation. And surprise! It's a fundraiser, and if you click the link below, you can donate to my team to help this wonderful organization continue and grow. And if I didn't sell you on the organization's merits, donate anyway, if for no other reason than I get a tote bag if I raise enough!!
For those of you who read all of this, I really hope you do consider tossing a few bucks towards my team, because it's for a cause I truly do believe is important. And for anybody who doesn't have funds to provide, I completely understand. If that applies to you, at least do me one favor instead: consider giving your grandparents a call. They'll appreciate it more than you realize, and I promise you'll be glad later on that you did.