One of the wonderful things about living in a tight knit community is that we can rely on our friends for support. These makeshift family members can be a neighbour lending you a rolling pin, or a friend to take you to an appointment in the city. But for some Whistlerites, the support network doesn’t exist, or they feel like they are being a burden on their friends and family.
I’ve worked with seniors who need someone to stay with their wife/husband when they do errands and are uncomfortable asking friends, or a senior who is unable to drive and requires help with grocery shopping, but doesn’t want to keep calling on the same people for support.
To assist with the gaps that do exist, Whistler Community Services Society (WCSS) offers a program called Helping Hand and there are many circumstances why someone might need a Helping Hand. People who do not have vehicles or are unable to drive due to illness/injury can request help from a volunteer driver to assist with errands. Other types of help offered are: shoveling walkways or chopping wood and support for new parents who might need some help with food preparation, or someone to be in the home to sit with baby while they have a short nap or shower.
The WCSS Helping Hand program also offers long distance drives for appointments in Vancouver or Squamish, where a bus ticket will not get them door to door, or they wouldn’t be allowed to leave the hospital unless they had a driver. This volunteer driving program was developed out of a need our community faced and we are always recruiting for more volunteers (please contact Melissa to learn more).
The benefits of the Helping Hand program are numerous for both the client and the volunteer. Many of WCSS Helping Hand volunteers are retired seniors that have time and skills to support those in need and enjoy waking up with a purpose for the day. Those who are on the receiving end, cherish the support provided with necessary tasks, comfort and routine.
Did You Know?
Volunteers assist people who are housebound due to illness, injury or new parents by helping with food prep, light cleaning and driving to appointments. If you are interested in being a long distance driver with the program contact Melissa at 604-902-0865 or email@example.com for more information.