January 27, 2017 -
The Companion Corps is a service committee of the Carol Woods Resident Association organized in 2004 by a group of residents when the Committee on Health and Social Services (the former name of the Health and Well-Being Committee) set a goal to provide emotional and social support to residents in our higher levels of support. Serendipitously, at about the same time, a workshop was held here at Carol Woods sponsored by Project Compassion. Grateful for the use of our facility, they invited several or our staff and residents to attend the two-day workshop. With inspiration and information from this workshop and dedication to the health and well-being of the Carol Woods community, the Companion Corps was formed. Project Compassion ideas and principles were adapted to the unique needs that had been identified at Carol Woods.
In the words of Jeanne M., one of those responsible for the founding of the Companion Corps, “We began with a simple goal: to help residents feel more connected to the larger Carol Woods community by bringing them to events such as concerts and other social gatherings. Successful as this was, we soon recognized how much more we could do to help residents realize that someone cared about them and to facilitate their engagement in meaningful activities. It also became apparent that the Companion Corps volunteers received so much in return.”
The Companion Corps continues to provide an opportunity for volunteers to enrich the lives of other residents while enriching their own lives. Fellow residents with physical or cognitive challenges benefit from having someone to read to them, someone to take them to a program, someone to join them for dinner and someone to listen to music with them. Companion Corps volunteers enable residents in higher levels of support to engage in meaningful activities and relationships, stay connected to the larger community and know someone cares. Companion Corps volunteers share their time. They also share their gifts of friendship, acceptance, patience and caring.
--Carol Woods Resident Beth S.