Changing lives through a simple friendly visit

It’s Community Support Month in Ontario, and all this month we are sharing stories about our various community health programs.

One program we wanted to tell you about is the Friendly Visiting program. If you haven’t heard about the program before, it aims to help those feeling isolated and alone by having a volunteer spend time with them. Several of our branches offer this program to elderly, ill and frail members of the community.

One such volunteer is Wes Ontonovich in Sault Ste. Marie. For the past year, the 24 year-old visits with clients once-a-week and takes them for coffee, or to the mall, or for a walk, or just chats with them. He says volunteering has given him a different perspective on life and has made him a better person.  

“I think for the person volunteering, if they can put in the time and effort it can be very rewarding,” he says. “It has been for me.”

The impact of these visits is huge. Clients of the program have been known to come out of depression, become interested in life, look forward to visits, and feel safe and secure that someone is checking in on them on a weekly basis.

Do you have a story about the Friendly Visiting program you would like to share? If so, write it in the comment box below.

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