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Get Involved


There are many ways to get involved with Friends Across the Ages, but two of the most common ways are to be a one-on-one volunteer, or to come to our group activities. Read below for a description of each, and then contact us to let us know how you'd like to get involved.

ONE-ON-ONE VOLUNTEERING

If you are a caring, patient, and concerned person who has one hour a week to devote, you can be a Friends Across the Ages one-on-one volunteer. Our volunteer application must be filled out before an orientation appointment at our office can be scheduled. You will be required to bring the names and phone numbers of two references with you to your orientation appointment.

At your orientation, we will assign you to a nursing home and pick a specific time for you to visit each week. Since we have set visitation times at each nursing home, you'll get to interact with other volunteers at your weekly visit. In addition, there will be a mentor (an experienced Friends volunteer) who will be assigned to you to assist in helping you get acquainted with residents at the nursing home.

When you begin the Friends volunteering program, you are committing to a 12-week introductory period. During this period, you will visit the nursing home one hour per week, filling out a short evaluation form on our website after each visit. After the initial 12-week commitment is completed, you have the option to stop visiting at any time you choose. However, we're confident you'll find this to be a rewarding experience and will want to continue as a Friends volunteer long into the future!

There are a number of ways that you could benefit from this great experience. If you are interested in being a one-on-one volunteer please fill out our volunteer application. (If you don't live near Gainesville, Florida, please fill out the contact us form instead).

What will my new friend and I do together?

The most important part is just being there. Things for you to do together will follow. The most popular activity is quite simple -- just talking. Current events, the weather, family, favorite foods, and childhood experiences are all popular topics. Some other activities include:

  • Eating dinner together

  • Playing cards or board games like checkers

  • Bring a book, magazine, or newspaper you can read to them

  • Watching sporting events or other TV shows

  • Helping them write a letter to a family member

  • Going outside on the porch to catch some sunshine

What other requirements are there?

Being a Friend Across the Ages is not always easy. It requires a commitment. A real person will be counting on you to visit. You may be the only visitor they get all week. Here are the requirements for volunteering:

  • A desire to help our elderly brothers and sisters, without regard to their race, religion, or physical infirmities.

  • Your own transportation to and from the facility.

  • A commitment of one hour per week at the nursing home for at least 12 weeks, plus a commitment to fill out the evaluation form on the web site each week. (Note: You are not required to continue volunteering after your 12 weeks are finished, but you should not get started with that expectation. The 12 week program is intended to be a training process for a more long-term commitment.)

How do I get started?

To get involved as a one-on-one volunteer in the Gainesville area, fill out our volunteer application or contact us form. We will contact you to schedule an orientation appointment at our office. At this appointment we'll talk about schedules, the nursing home to which you'll be assigned, and other basic information about visiting a nursing home resident. You should bring with you to your appointment:

  • Your calendar so we can pick a date and time for you to visit the nursing home for the first time

  • Your driver's license (since you'll be working with a vulnerable population, we may conduct a background check)

  • The names of two references. At least one of these should be an employer, professor, pastor, etc (not a friend of family member).


GROUP ACTIVITIES

Friends Across the Ages also has several group events at Gainesville-area nursing homes each month. The events for each month are listed in the monthly newsletter found on the Pictures and News page. Some of the different types of events we hold are (these vary each month):

  • Singing events

  • Bingo games

  • Arts and Crafts

  • Birthday Parties

  • Nursing Home Outings

There are many reasons for coming to our group activities, such as:

  • You aren't able to make a long-term commitment to nursing home volunteering, but you want to come out and be involved occasionally.

  • You want to experience coming out to the nursing home to help you decide whether you want to make a longer term commitment as a one-on-one volunteer.

  • Because they are a lot of FUN!

To get involved as a volunteer at our group activities, simply fill out the contact us form, and let us know. We'll add you to our monthly newsletter mailing list, and will be ready to meet you at an event you choose and introduce you to the other volunteers.


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