Wasn’t it wonderful to awaken to the sound of rain this week? I am totally blaming the dry weather for my garden’s far-less-than-perfect state – although something tells me my less-than-perfect track record for watering and weeding might also be a contributing factor!

Speaking of gardening, I did a little “digging” into our records recently to make a report to the Care Partners Board. The results confirmed what we already knew – for many reasons, our volunteer pool is shrinking, even as the need for services is climbing (especially in the Chore and Companion programs.)  In the first half of 2019, fifty clients were assisted by 47 volunteers. So far in 2021, fifty-nine clients have been assisted by 28 volunteers!  

We’re not alone – service providers in our area (across the state, actually) report a significant shortage of both paid and volunteer workers. We’ll be doing a lot in the coming weeks to encourage folks to join our wonderful Care Partners volunteer team, including the offer of a FREE sundae at our upcoming Ice Cream Social (August 29) for anyone who signs up to learn more about volunteering!  We’re also planning a special mailing focused on volunteer training, a possible radio interview, and more.

As important as these efforts are, nothing is more effective for encouraging a new volunteer than a personal invitation from a current volunteer. If you know of someone who you think would make a great Care Partners volunteer, please tell them so…maybe bring them to the Ice Cream Social for a free sundae or let them know they are invited to our upcoming training events. Info and registration are available on our website or by calling us at 387-3788.  

And thank YOU for your patience through all the COVID craziness, for your willingness to step up and make a difference in the lives of older adults throughout Cook County.  Remember that we have a free sundae waiting on August 29th from 2 to 4pm with YOUR name on it…hope to see you there!