National Volunteer Week Amid the Coronavirus Crisis

Filed in Blog by on April 13, 2020

National Volunteer Week 2020 is here,
and the COVID-19 crisis has only served to highlight
the exceptional quality and compassion of our Cape Abilities’ volunteers!

 

WE LOVE OUR VOLUNTEERS.  They support Cape Abilities with such passion and energy, through the shared belief that all individuals deserve respect and the opportunity to live a meaningful life. We love the diversity of their backgrounds, from retired teachers to policemen, to advertising executives, musicians, college students, and yes, even lawyers. We love their smiles, their talents, and the compassion they show to our participants every day.

Volunteers work tirelessly throughout the year across the agency, at events such as our annual Harbor Walk,  our Golf Tournament and Bowling events, and especially at our Farm, where they plant, harvest, merchandise, sell, and support our participants and staff every single day.  In past years, close to 200 individual volunteers, plus many groups, have donated their time, energy, and talents to Cape Abilities, providing us with thousands of man hours, worth tens of thousands of dollars.

When the COVID-19 crisis hit Cape Cod, the response of our volunteers was terrific.  We sent one email asking for assistance and they mobilized immediately! Volunteers have provided baked goods, crafting supplies, phone calls, video chats, and letters and cards: an unbelievable response from an unbelievable group of individuals.

 

During the current Shelter-in-Place period,
our volunteers have had to adapt and reach out from a distance.


From as far away as Washington D.C. and Florida, Cape Abilities volunteers have been calling, emailing, video chatting and writing cards and letters to our residents who are feeling isolated their homes.  In many cases, when they are on Cape Cod, these volunteers have served in other departments of Cape Abilities, so they do not know the person they have been asked to reach out to now.    But, to no one’s surprise, new friendships have been formed, laughs have been shared, and countless days have been brightened by the generosity of our incredible volunteers.

Janet Roman (top, right) is a Cape Abilities volunteer for many, many years.  When the coronavirus hit, she was so worried about our participants she took it upon herself to write letters to every single one of homes in our Residential Program.   She has been making calls, sending cards, and spreading joy all across the Cape.

Rachel du Plessis (bottom, right) is a brand new volunteer at our Cochran Center in Eastham.   in addition to reaching out to multiple participants in our Day Habilitation program, Rachel has been hosting bi-weekly video chats with two of our residents who are home with their families and are missing their Cape Abilities friends.   She plans a different topic for each chat, including her special Easter chat earlier this month!

Mark Pasquini (right, bottom, with Dunkin) is a volunteer at Cape Abilities Farm who was recently chosen as one of just nine honorees across the nation as Volunteer of the Year by his employer, Nationwide Insurance.  The honor includes a $1,000 grant to Cape Abilities and recognition in a national corporate publication.  Mark has proven through his dedication, reliability and empathy that he values the client he is directly involved with, as well as other clients in the residential unit and its staff.  We are proud of Mark’s achievement and grateful for Nationwide’s financial support.

 

This year, our world has changed,
but the love and support from our Volunteers has not.

Every day we receive calls and emails asking: How can I help?  Cape Abilities volunteers have eagerly baked cupcakes and other goodies for our residences, they have waited in long curbside lines to buy crafting supplies to bring to our homes, and they have dropped off donuts, cakes and other store-bought goods to brighten the days of our residents and staff.  All the while observing social distancing and good hygiene practices!

 

From the bottom of our hearts, we express our gratitude and appreciation to all of our volunteers
not only during National Volunteer Week but during every week of the year!
We can’t wait to see them all again in person very soon.

____________________________________________________________

PLEASE JOIN OUR VOLUNTEER FAMILY!

Not only will you help change the lives
of the individuals we serve,
but, amazingly, your life will be changed too!

 

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