Hearts and Hands

Hearts and Hands at Orcas Senior Center recruits, trains, and matches caring volunteers with elderly and disabled adult members of the community for companionship and practical assistance.

Volunteers make friendly visits to support independence and enhanced quality of life by providing opportunities for socialization and assistance with errands and light chores in the home and yard.

Immediate Volunteer Need

Hearts and Hands is providing frequent “Buddy Check-In” calls to seniors from matched volunteers to support self-islolation, mitigate anxiety, distress and depression, act as a conduit to resources, and to bring early awareness to potential problems. To volunteer, sign up at orcas.recovers.org.

Press Release – 3/25/2020

For 14 years, non-profit Orcas Senior Center volunteers have provided in-home companionship visits to seniors and disabled adults on Orcas Island. Now, with self-isolation and quarantine imposed by COVID-19, we are all finding ourselves suddenly house bound; and many of us are alone. The Orcas community has already mobilized to substantially increase food and meal deliveries, as well as home deliveries of other essentials. But food and other essentials left on a doorstep can never take the place of the social interaction that we crave.

Obviously, in-home visits are no longer an option. For this reason, the Hearts and Hands Program is expanding its services to include “buddy check-ins” using telephone and other methods of engagement. While we certainly don’t expect these other methods to be as satisfying as in-person visits, we hope that they will at least help us cope with isolation more successfully than we might otherwise do.

The non-profit Orcas Senior Center will be working closely with San Juan County’s Senior Services staff and others to identify the highest risk individuals, and to design an expanded program for checking in during the COVID-19 response period. We will then scale up the program using the orcas.recovers.org platform to identify volunteers who are willing to assist us in making sure that all seniors’ needs are met through this prolonged period of social distancing and self-isolation. Please look for more information about this program on our website orcasseniors.org, where we will post updates as the program evolves.

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