When people hear about Brandon Lovell’s volunteer work with Casey House they say “where do you find the time?” Brandon says, “It’s not about having the time; it’s about making the time; just the same as you make time for yourself, it’s just as important to make time for others.”
Brandon has only been volunteering with Casey House for nine months, but already he says every day is rewarding, “especially seeing someone who is feeling down and in need enter the house, and go back to their activities of daily living in the community feeling supported and loved.”
Brandon says the people at Casey House make an extraordinary effort to make problems seem more bearable so that people don’t feel unsupported or alone, “the staff are always there to help…they want to be a part of making someone’s life better”.
And what is a session of volunteering at Casey House like for Brandon? He describes: “I’m generally coming from work and once I enter the house I feel as if I have new energy. I’m greeted at the front desk and prepare for my shift. I listen to who’s in the house and what’s been going on before heading down to the nursing station to see if there’s anything else that I need to know. Then the fun part, I do my rounds and visit with whomever I can. Sometimes clients are in a mood to chat, other times not so much, but I try to make my presence known so they know I’m around if they feel like company or want to join in that evenings activities.
I could be running Bingo or community drop-in. Bingo is fun, because there’s almost always a good turnout and there’s enough time for everyone to leave a winner. During community drop-in sometimes we chat about what’s been going on in everyone’s lives, gossip about pop culture, play a game or make some crafts to lighten everyone’s spirits. Every now and then we have a birthday in the house and I gather everyone together to surprise one of the clients with a special treat. Then it’s time to clean-up, log my hours, say goodbye and head home, hoping that my presence has brightened someone’s day.”
Says Brandon, “I have met people from so many walks of life, they all matter and they’re all important, and being a part of that is an experience that is second to none! In the end it’s not just about the accomplishments you made in your life, but also the lives that you touched doing it!”
In celebration of Volunteer Recognition Week, April 10-16, Casey House is featuring volunteers who contribute their time and expertise to help Casey House deliver inspired, compassionate care to men and women living with HIV/AIDS.