By: Nicki Brunkow and Doria Lynch
Doria and I have known each other for three years now. When Doria first started volunteering with St.Vincent New Hope, she would bring her dog, a pug named Tayto, over to my house to play. We would take him for walks around the neighborhood. After a while, we started going out into the community, though Doria still brings Tayto to visit sometimes.
We like to do all sorts of things around town—once, we went to the Earth Day celebration and had a great time there. We bought pizza and drinks and we met a nice dog. We even danced to the live band that was playing. We’ve been to a Pacers game, but the best part was the halftime show! Most times when we go out together, we eat at Taco Bell and then visit the Dollar Tree. We used to go to Target a lot, where once I helped Doria pick out sunglasses. Another time, I didn’t tell her that she had glitter all over her face from a hat she’d tried on! We still laugh about that. We used to walk on the Monon Trail, too. For a while, we went bowling every other Friday with my roommates—we even had matching team t-shirts. That was so much fun. On nights when the bowling lanes were full, we would eat at McDonald’s instead.
We like that we get to sit and talk, because we get to tell each other what’s on our minds. It’s a good time to work out our problems, tell what good things are happening, and make each other feel better. We also tell each other stories about things that happened a long time ago—sometimes they’re happy stories and sometimes they’re sad stories, but what matters is that we have someone to talk to. We laugh a lot, too. We also like that we know each other’s families. Doria has met Nicki’s parents, brother, sister-in-law, and niece and nephews, and Nicki has met Doria’s parents and husband (and her parent’s dogs!).
It’s things like this—being able to really talk to each other, knowing each other’s families and friends, and spending quality time together that makes us much more than volunteer and “volunteeree”—we are true friends! And at the end of each visit, we give each other a hug. Not because we are saying goodbye, but because we’ve had such a good time and are looking forward to our next adventure, and more years of friendship together.