HomeSeniors and People with DisabilitiesVolunteer Chore Services
If you want others to be happy, practice compassion.
If you want to be happy, practice compassion.
~ Dalai Lama
Last fall, Compassionate Seattle issued an invitation to join them in sharing stories of compassion through the Compassion Games. Gail Clark, VCS volunteer, and Kizzie Funkhouser, VCS staff person, collaborated and submitted the poem and stories below. They were honored as the Compassionate Verse Award recipients!
Volunteers Nurture Compassion Throughout Community
Written by Gail Clark, VCS Volunteer
We are fellow volunteers that serve those in need,
Farmers of hope, we're planting the seeds—
Weeding out obstacles when lives’ pathways are blocked.
Standing together, our diverse strands, woven to stalks
Of goodwill and compassion we nurture,
Strong—rooted in belief that every life matters
That dignity and respect have no boundaries or status.
We are young, we are old, yet we are the same
Our vision not of the chore, we see the faces, know names,
Know the look of appreciation and the sighs of relief,
Volunteers motivate, because we believe—
That making a difference is within our reach.
We are driven in faith that we can improve,
The quality of one’s life, it touches us too.
We are volunteers, we just are, we just do.
The man in the store without help, he can't read the labels
But can cook up a meal befit the KINGS table,
There's a woman independent but can no longer drive
Her eyes, they light up when you simply arrive.
Volunteers are a blessing, they just are, they just do.
Gifts of Compassion from Volunteer Chore Services Volunteers
Submitted by Kizzie Funkhouser, VCS Staff
Living alone at age 90 is a challenge. With a limited income and her nearest family hours away, she counts on VCS volunteers to help keep the home in shape, take her grocery shopping and to medical appointments. One volunteer visits weekly to vacuum, mop, fold laundry and change bed linens.
At 84, she is partially sighted and living with arthritis. She confided her fear that her yard would be “what sends me to a nursing home, because they say I can’t take care of it.” VCS volunteers totaled 100 hours that summer clearing her yard of weeds, blackberries, and debris, so that she is able to walk into her garden again.
Living with stage 4 cancer and fighting through chemo treatments leaves him with very little energy. With the rainy season nearing, he knew the gutters needed cleaning but could no longer safely climb a ladder. VCS volunteers cleaned the gutters, swept off the roof and repaired some damaged spouts. He said they did a fabulous job and was so appreciative, not just for the work completed, but for the kind spirit in which it was offered.
We extend our thanks to all volunteers whose compassion always gets the gold.
Our mission is to assist low-income elders and adults with chronic illnesses or disabilities remain independent in their own home. We match volunteers with older adults to provide companionship, light housework, and other simple chores. Opportunities to help are available all over the county. Here are a few ways you can get involved:
Friendly Visitors and Chore Buddies: Volunteer Chore Services helps elders and adults with disabilities remain independent by assisting them with everyday household chores that they are unable to keep up with on their own, such as vacuuming, laundry, grocery shopping and yard work. Your help is needed in your neighborhood, on your schedule and based on your availability. Volunteer Now.
Phone Buddy: Do you have time each week for a phone conversation with an older adult? “Phone Buddies” is a special project of Volunteer Chore Services, King County, to provide older adults with support through a weekly phone call. Many of these individuals no longer have the friendships they once had and greatly benefit from regular communication with another caring individual. They have wonderful stories and experiences to share with you. Volunteer Now.
MS Volunteer Chore Services Assistant: Be a volunteer to someone living with Multiple sclerosis in your neighborhood! Many times, individuals with MS have mobility problems or problems with fatigue. Your caring visits may mean the difference between a neighbor staying in her/his own home and having to move into assisted living or a nursing home. Volunteer Now.
Could you or a friend fit in time to help out just once a month? How about 4 times a year? Sign up as an on-call volunteer and receive regular emails about one-time wishes for help in your neighborhood. On-call opportunities are usually only a couple of hours a month, and could include transportation, yardwork, cleaning, moving assistance or other simple chores. This is a great opportunity for groups too—gather together a bunch of friends, coworkers, or members of a club or church to get together and pitch in to help a senior. Volunteer Now.
Volunteer drivers are needed throughout King County to drive or carpool with seniors and adults with disabilities to doctor's appointments, the grocery store, the pharmacy, and other important locations. Giving your time once a week or even once a month can make a huge difference in the life of a senior in your community! Volunteer Chore Services provides qualified volunteer drivers with mileage reimbursement, training, and umbrella insurance. Volunteer Now.
Volunteer Chore Services has a number of opportunities for groups of all sizes. Group projects are an excellent way to provide a first taste of volunteer service with your friends, youth group, community group, faith community or corporate team. Groups contribute their skills in painting, home clean-up, minor home repair, moving or yard work. Volunteer Now.
Having help with simple tasks like these can make a real difference in someone’s life.
Volunteer Chore Services, a program of Catholic Community Services, is a "safety net" for elders and adults living with disabilities who are unable to afford chore help or are ineligible for state/paid chore services. All recipients live on a limited income, have chronic health conditions or difficulty with mobility, and most live alone. We carefully match volunteers to opportunities based on their personalities, neighborhood, and preferences, and provide training and ongoing support to our volunteers. Join us in supporting our elders!