It was immediately apparent that at the Friendly Home, the people are just that: friendly. Since the first time I volunteered at the Friendly Home in 2015, I have felt welcome and appreciated.

“It’s your time, and we would love if you would choose to spend it with us!” Mary Graham, the volunteer coordinator, said when I met her for the first time. With this simple comment, it was clear that the Friendly Home truly values the choice their volunteers make to give time and efforts to this community.

As a Service Scholar at St. John Fisher College, I am required to volunteer at least 200 hours of community service with a selected nonprofit organization in Rochester. It was a simple choice to spend my time with the Friendly Home. As a volunteer, I work with Amy Flinn, Marketing & Communications Manager, to create content for the community, social media, and more! The people at the Friendly Home created this opportunity for me based on my skills and interests. From the beginning, it has been great to know that the people here care about me as much as I care about giving back to this excellent community.

Over the last two years, I have been able to create relationships with the staff, community members, and other volunteers. When I volunteer, it doesn’t feel like work because I am spending time with these people, who are honest, friendly, and caring.

While the staff certainly embodies the core values of the Friendly Home, the first time I truly understood the importance of my role as a volunteer at the Friendly Home was when I spoke with a fellow volunteer. As we introduced ourselves and began to have a conversation, my fellow volunteer excitedly expressed how much she loves to host Bingo for the residents when she comes in. Then, she shared that Bingo was her sister’s favorite activity when she lived at the Friendly Home before she passed away. For this volunteer, working at the Friendly Home was a way to bring happiness to the current residents in honor of her sister. So, each week she volunteers to help add value to the lives of the beautiful people who live here.

This is just one example of the many incredible volunteers who come in each week to contribute their time and, more importantly, show they care about the members of this community. Here at the Friendly Home, I have never felt like “just another vlunteer,” but instead I feel genuinely valued and appreciated by the Members and staff.