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Changing Volunteer Roles in the Face of the Pandemic: Becoming a Friendly Caller

Jean McGuire became an Retired Senior Volunteer (RSVP) in 2019 with the Area Agency on Aging 3. Jean is 72 years old and after working for 25 years at Allen County Juvenile court in Lima she retired in October 2015. Jean grew up in Chicago Illinois, having moved to Lima after she met and married her husband who is from Lima.

She has many interests and hobbies and really enjoys traveling, reading, gardening, visiting with her grandchildren and volunteering. Not only does Jean volunteer with AAA3, she also helps at the Lima Civic and Convention Center. She has not been able to do her normal volunteering due to the pandemic.

Jean began her journey with the RSVP program at AAA3 as an RSVP Ombudsman volunteer. However, when COVID 19 hit she then switched her roll to the Friendly Caller Program. She really loves to make friendly phone calls and brighten someone's day. Jean has formed many bonds with the friendly calls she makes, one individual she has really bonded with is Miss Minnie.

With Miss Minnie every conversation Jean has with her they have become so close that they end their conversations with an “I love you”. Although never meeting in person yet. Miss Minnie really wants to meet Jean and cook her a meal and spend time with her. Jean would love to visit her as well, however Miss Minnie has a disabled son that she cares for in her home. Jean is cautious not wanting to bring germs into her home and possibly make either one of them sick. Jean speaks with Miss Minnie every week and hope that one day they will be able to spend time in person together.

Jean is a wonderful volunteer and has become a very big asset RSVP through AAA3 and as well as the individuals in the community she connects with in the Friendly Caller Program.

Submitted by: Miranda van Rooyen - RSVP Program Director

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