RVNAhealth: Not all Heroes Wear a Cape

The President, and also the Chief Executive Officer, (CEO), of the home health care service in Ridgefield, RVNAhealth, writes this regular column about the volunteering opportunities that are available at the non-profit organization.

The President, and also the Chief Executive Officer, (CEO), of the home health care service in Ridgefield, RVNAhealth, writes this regular column about the volunteering opportunities that are available at the non-profit organization.

RVNAhealth / Contributed photo

There is an unassuming group of healthcare heroes — who don’t wear capes, and likely don’t even recognize their valor and virtue — but who definitely make the world a better place. They are volunteers.

We are living in challenging and stressful times, which impacts our health and well-being. According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, (NAMI), one way to cope is by doing something for others, which is proven to reduce stress and depression. Volunteering, even a small-hourly commitment, can improve one’s self-esteem and mood. NAMI claims that the impact of one person helping another could benefit a whole chain of individuals, creating a culture that brings people together and builds stronger relationships.

While COVID-19 has made togetherness feel like a thing of the past, that is not the case with volunteering.

“The need for volunteers right now is greater than ever. We have lots of opportunities for people to still help each other safely,” RVNAhealth Hospice Volunteer Coordinator Stephanie Notaro, said.

Notaro is also the contact for all volunteer opportunities at RVNAhealth, including those interested in supporting the COVID-19 vaccination effort, although her primary focus is helping patients at end-of life.

This can include keeping a patient company, walking the dog, running errands or providing respite for primary caregivers. Patients often benefit from engagement with people outside their normal care circle, and the time commitment needn’t be lengthy to make a positive impact. For those not interested in direct patient contact, there are administrative volunteer opportunities, like assembling materials or ordering supplies.

“The feedback from many volunteers is that they receive so much more than they give,” Notaro said, making volunteering — even now — a great way to lift one’s own spirits.

For information on volunteer opportunities with RVNAhealth, please contact Stephanie Notaro at 203-438-5555, snotaro@rvnahealth.org, or visit rvnahealth.org.