It’s been a year now since the world shut down. With the vaccine roll-out ramping up, there is a possible light at the end of this very long tunnel. I have seen over and over acts of compassion and charity as our communities have rallied around those in need: from sewing masks to donating food, and taking time to run errands for those who needed to stay home. Now with the prospect of once again being able to spend time with our loved ones and rejoining our community on the horizon, it’s important to remember that not everyone is able to return. There is a population that was socially isolated before COVID-19 descended upon us, and they remain so now that it may be leaving. These people are seniors stranded alone with no form of transportation, those living with disabilities that make it nearly impossible to venture out without support, as well as some of our veterans and military family members.

Now as life begins to normalize, let’s make a commitment that this new “new normal” includes the active engagement and support of those isolated and struggling to remain in their homes.

Monadnock RSVP Volunteer Center runs a program, Neighbors-In-Deed, which is dedicated to support those isolated and lonely throughout the Monadnock Region. Volunteers are matched one-to-one on an ongoing basis with a qualifying care recipient and are asked to commit one to two hours of their time each week. Volunteers can help their care recipient with getting out into the community, running errands or just spending quality time together. While restrictions are still in place, we are currently doing grocery delivery and necessary errands on behalf of care recipients, as well as setting up friendly calling rather than in-person visits. Matches are made based on shared interests, compatible personalities, location and expectations of the program. With just a couple hours a week a volunteer can make a substantial difference in a person’s life!

We have all felt firsthand the negative impact that isolation can have on a psyche, and in contrast we’ve seen the positive effect that thoughtful, conscientious individuals who are mobilized to action can make. If you want to continue to combat the social isolation and loneliness still pervasive throughout the Monadnock Region, Neighbors-In-Deed can connect you to someone who would be grateful for your support and friendship. Please reach out to me, Jazmin Belcoure, at jbelcoure@mfs.org or by calling 603-283-1681.

Thank you to everyone for all that you’ve done so far and continue to do to inspire hope, compassion and strengthen our community.

Monadnock RSVP Volunteer Center is a proud grantee of AmeriCorps Seniors and receives funds through their RSVP program. We are a program of Monadnock Family services.

JAZMIN BELCOURE

Monadnock RSVP, Program Coordinator

64 Main St., Suite 212

Keene