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Meaningful Connections: How Volunteers Bring Joy to JCHE

Posted: December 11, 2017

We recently published the winter issue of Thriving in Community, JCHE's newsletter featuring timely stories and information. One of the stories is reproduced below. 

“My Christine,” is how JCHE resident Tatyana fondly refers to a woman she’s known for just six months, but who has already made a profound impact on her life.

Christine and Tatyana are one of JCHE’s “Friendly Visitor” pairs—an initiative that matches volunteers with residents who our Resident Services Coordinators identify as being at high risk of isolation and loneliness. 

Since May, Christine, a young professional working in Boston, has met with Tatyana every Tuesday to share stories and bond over their shared passion for arts and music.

Before Tatyana met Christine, she felt at a loss—almost as if her life was losing purpose. But talking with Christine about her hopes and wishes, about love, heartache, and life’s many blessings and sorrows, has rekindled Tatyana’s zest for life. The two have formed a genuine friendship. 

At JCHE, our volunteers build meaningful connections with our residents—helping to foster the loving community that’s at the heart of what we do. These connections are built in many ways—whether it’s volunteering as a Friendly Visitor, dancing with residents at a Rock n’ Roll party, or practicing English with them in a conversation club. JCHE volunteers also lead weekly meditation classes, games clubs, and movies clubs, and provide tech support and teach English classes. We host corporate and university groups for service days where volunteers have constructed beautiful elevated planter boxes for our garden club, and hosted trivia nights for residents.

We aren’t replicating cookie cutter programs; we think outside the box, offering residents truly unique and rewarding opportunities, such as an African Cooking Class with our partners at Boston University and Oldways—a non-profit food and nutrition education organization with a mission to inspire healthy eating through cultural food traditions and lifestyles. We also host “Seniors Who Code” workshops that teach introductory computer programming to residents.

Since January 2017, our wonderful volunteers have hit the ground running, serving 11,300 volunteer hours! If you’re interested in joining our amazing team of volunteers, please contact Kate White at

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