For National Volunteer Week, we spoke with one of our dedicated volunteers, Hayley Lemisch, about her experiences giving back to JEVS Human Services.
Q: You could choose to spend your time with many organizations. Why do you volunteer at JEVS Human Services?
A: This past fall, I was looking to volunteer. I work in Philly doing cancer research at Jefferson, and it’s hard for me to commit to a weekday volunteer schedule. I was finding that it was difficult to find an opportunity on the weekends during non-business hours. I didn’t hear back from a lot of organizations, but JEVS responded to me right away!
Q: What kinds of volunteer activities do you participate in?
A: Each Sunday since October 2021, I’ve gone to visit with two women who live in one of JEVS’s residences for individuals with disabilities in Haverford. They only live 10 minutes away from me. I try to think of things to do to keep them entertained. We play board games together, and do puzzles. I guide them piece by piece. The ladies love BINGO! They win consistently! And, they learn as we play card games, like Go Fish or War. Karen has played piano for me and likes to do artwork. Eileen loved when I brought Scrabble Junior from home.
Q. What has the experience been like for you so far?
A. I didn’t have prior experience working with individuals with disabilities. But, the JEVS staff is helpful as I learn. There’s a team approach. It’s been great interacting with Karen and Eileen, learning to understand their needs. At the end of the day, they just want to play games and have fun. They see me as a friend, and seem to look forward to my visit. They are incredibly sweet, and hug me a lot.
Q: What would you say to others thinking about volunteering at JEVS?
A: I think this is a great opportunity. I’m enjoying the intergenerational aspect, as the ladies are in the 50 to 60 age range. I would bet that other JEVS clients would love to have visitors to play games and have fun with them.
Interested in volunteering at JEVS Human Services? Visit our Volunteer page to learn about upcoming opportunities.