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Helping Hands
Jeff Barnouw | Amphitheatre Drive

DMCC’s January Sunday Salon featured the bluegrass band Prairie Sky. The musical foursome, featuring Dwight Worden, Ramona Ault, Jeff Smith, Avery Ellisman, played a variety of musical styles sung through the years.
Photo Julie Maxey-Allison.
Click to enlarge.

“We’re fortunate to live in Del Mar,” says DMCC President Terry Kopanski, “where so many of our neighbors are willing to give some time each month to help others in the community.” Other than its paid staff of two, DMCC is all volunteers, over 110. DMCC’s 16 members of the Board are also volunteers. In all they volunteered over 2100 hours of their time this past year. On February 14 at 2:30 DMCC is having a Valentine’s Day and Volunteer Appreciation Party at the 9th Street headquarters. We will celebrate and thank one another.

Volunteering is its own reward. Our volunteers have found the contact not only with those, mostly seniors, that we are able to help, but also with other volunteers, a personally enriching experience (paraphrasing President Kopanski). There are never enough volunteers. If we had more, we could do more. And so the party is also meant to welcome new and prospective volunteers as well.

One area that is growing and needs to grow is volunteer drivers. We count 32 now, taking people on personalized rides, either to doctor’s appointments or on other essential errands, such as therapy or (for those who can’t take part in our twice weekly van excursions) shopping. Drivers and passengers often get to know each other. The past year counted over 900 personalized rides and over 300 group van rides to local stores for groceries and supplies. Another 280 van excursions were visits to educational, cultural, and nature destinations.

Twice a month, on the first and third Tuesdays, in its 9th Street headquarters, DMCC holds a luncheon for about 18 seniors, with other take-out lunches provided for those who cannot leave home. Often the volunteers who bring lunch share it with the homebound. Over 400 social and educational meals were served by volunteers in the last year.

The list of organized activities includes Health and Wellness programs with topics like Self-Help Patient Advocacy and End of Life Choices, plus van trips to lectures at UCSD’s Center for Healthy Aging, computer and information technology courses and consultation in the new Digital Den, Investment Club, Book Club, Singing Group, Mah Jongg, Bridge, Sunday Salons, Holiday Lunch at St. Peter’s Church, and Spring Tea.

 

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