Meredith resident Ann Willett received a ride from Interlakes Community Caregivers Volunteer Paul Helfinstein recently. Paul has driven 4,362 miles while responding to 157 requests from neighbors like Ms. Willett since the beginning of 2020.

INTERLAKES COMMUNITY CAREGIVERS VOLUNTEERS PERSEVERE!

Throughout the pandemic, Interlakes Community Caregivers, Inc. (ICCI) Volunteers have continued to provide rides and deliver essentials to Neighbors in the towns of Meredith, Center Harbor, Moultonborough and Sandwich. 

“ICCI has been a godsend,” said Ann Willett who recently registered with Interlakes Community Caregivers.  “I don’t have any family close by to help me out and the volunteers have been so nice.” 

While many volunteer-driver programs in northern New England limited or suspended rides, ICCI volunteer drivers have not stopped driving.  Approximately 30 volunteers have provided rides to medical and dental appointments, picked up groceries, run errands and made wellness check-in phone calls to over 75 Neighbors since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The volunteers’ careful adherence to safety protocols and desire to support their fellow community members during this difficult time has been vital in helping to counter the feelings of isolation and loneliness that are associated with aging in place and not having easy access to transportation.  The pandemic has exacerbated this problem even further as many older adults have had to cancel long-standing traditions to gather with their loved ones during the holidays. 

Fortunately, the benefits of ICCI’s program are not all one-sided.  As many Interlakes Community Caregivers Volunteers will tell you, they benefit as well.  Giving of yourself to help others has been shown, according to a University of Michigan study, to increase the life span of the giver/volunteer.  Volunteering makes most people feel good and it has been proven to potentially lengthen your life.

If you or someone you know would like to become an ICCI Volunteer or needs support, please contact Interlakes Community Caregivers through our website or by phone at 603-253-9275.

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