By: Lora Harvey
Hi! My name is Lora, and this is my friend Thom. Our friendship began in the summer of 2005, when I was between jobs and wanted to take the opportunity to search for volunteer opportunities. Fortunately, I found St.Vincent New Hope, and the volunteer coordinator matched me up with Thom. Thom and I quickly became good friends.
Thom is smart, articulate, and has a great sense of humor. He has a staff of people that take very good care of him and his housemates. It is a very demanding job, and these people are real heroes. With all the demands of just meeting physical needs, it is difficult to fit in time to take the clients out for recreational activities, though they do manage to do it when they can.
When I started volunteering with Thom, he encouraged me to get “van trained.” Taking this on just seemed so overwhelming to me. What a huge responsibility that would be—first aid, all those straps to secure him into the van and never mind the size of the van itself! But Thom kept encouraging me, and I decided to finally give it a try, and I’m so glad I did. We go all over the place. We’ve been to the circus, the zoo, cookouts, movies, the mall, Indians baseball games, and more. We really enjoy our time together and always look forward to the next outing. Thom is always so appreciative of the time I spend with him. I know I get at least as much out of the experience as he does.
I have always wanted to volunteer and am so glad to have the opportunity to be of service. I highly recommend it.