ANNOUNCEMENTS, Blog, EVENTS, VOLUNTEERS

Celebrating Two Long-term Volunteers at Annual Appreciation Event

Each year, Duet celebrates all the outstanding volunteers who bring our mission to life. More than 300 of these volunteers help homebound seniors – “neighbors” – needing rides to the grocery store, doctor’s appointments, or friendly visiting. Who are Duet’s neighbors? Our service recipients are more than just individuals in need. They are neighbors with lives of purpose, meaning, and, yes, difficulty. No longer able to drive, they resolve to thrive for as long as possible in their own homes surrounded by the things they love. The practicality and challenge of that choice is finding the support system to age in place. With unreliable and sometimes no means of transportation, they look to others to stand in the gap, to minimize difficulty. Duet volunteers step up, and step in to do just that…stand in the gap. This year, Duet recognizes and celebrates two outstanding volunteers who have done just that.

Our first volunteer honoree, Mike Kintz, of Glendale, has dedicated the past three decades of his life to serving an impressive 123 neighbors, through 358 personalized interactions. Let’s break that down. In 32 years, our honoree has provided 318 rides to medical appointments, or more than 1,478 hours of choosing not to sit it out. Of choosing to give instead of take. Of choosing to be a changemaker making a difference in the life of another. And that doesn’t even include all the grocery shopping he has done both with and for neighbors. Mike says, “God’s been good to me, and I just enjoy people!”

Neighbors love him and always request him. “He is a blessing and an angel. I don’t know what I would do without him.” Our honoree never says, “no”—no matter the distance. Upon reflection of their 10-year relationship with Mike, a neighbor shares, “He is the best, best, best thing that has happened to me. We have become like family.” If Duet had 10 more volunteers like Mike, our wait list would be eliminated!

Our second honoree, Sue Bai, started volunteering with Duet in 1990, after hearing about our services at her church. “Volunteering with Duet has been an honor and a joy. When I first heard about Duet in 1990 (known then as VICaP, part of Center DOAR) it was an answer to my prayers. Founder Reverend Dr. Dosia Carlson’s concept of finding a way to connect the needs of the elderly and disabled in our community with the desire of so many ordinary people like me who were looking for a way to live out their faith and find meaning in service to others was inspired. I am honored to have been a small part of a momentous movement!”

Over the past 34 years, Sue has cultivated a notable and diverse relationship with Duet—you might even call her a “Super Supporter”. Not satisfied to volunteer one single form of service, Sue has helped 20 neighbors (most of which are ongoing matches) with assistance from transportation and grocery shopping to paperwork. She once remarked that her “why” for volunteering was to “help others to achieve meaningful life experiences.”

Her dedicated service is inspiring and appreciated by each and every homebound adult with whom she comes into contact. Her dedication must have rubbed off on her husband, Monty, who is also among one of Duet’s many valued volunteers. Together, they have given not only their valuable time, but also stepped up their support in 2019 by becoming Vision Society members through their generous financial donations to Duet. We recognize and celebrate this “Super Supporter” with a servant heart of gold.

You, too, can become a valuable volunteer with a generous number of smiles and dedicated work, Duet volunteers indeed provide a lifeline for the isolated and homebound adults we serve to vitally needed services such as medical appointments, grocery shopping, and human connection.

In addition to making life sustainably better for a homebound senior, volunteering your time and talent has benefits for you as well. Volunteering can reduce stress, enrich your mind, and develop interpersonal skills like the art of conversation and engagement. Feel fulfilled wherever you are now—be it newly retired, building your career, or seeking your better self. Volunteer.

Learn more about how you can pay it forward through volunteering, and sign up today for an upcoming Volunteer Orientation.

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