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Volunteer Spotlight: Tim

Today on the blog, I have the pleasure of sharing my interview with Tim, a very active LAI volunteer from New York. Since signing up to be a LAI volunteer, he has shared LAI with just about everyone in his community! He’s made postings on his apartment building bulletin, phoned his friends and asked them to sign up, and he’s even made a comment about LAI on the New York Times website that brought a number of new volunteers to us. Now, he is a Letters Against Isolation Volunteer Representative. He helps us brainstorm, plan fun activities to play at Zoom parties, and even responds to some of your emails!

Tim, originally from England, has lived in New York for 50 years. After flying around the world for many years for his job in the airline industry, he has stationed himself in a New York highrise with his cat, Oscar. He has a spectacular view of The Statue of Liberty, and the busy New York Harbor. He has always been passionate about volunteering in his community and has spent many thousands of hours recording books for the blind, building schools in Mali, and delivering meals to individuals who suffer from food insecurity in New York. When the lockdown began, Tim’s volunteering came to an abrupt halt. At the end of June, Tim’s friend told him about LAI and he eagerly signed up.

Thank you Tim for reaching out with your letter. It is the best time I’ve had in years…. Your letter gave me a lot of food for thought about my past experiences… You took me down memory lane with your letter, and I really enjoyed the trip. - Linda

The daughter of a senior who received a letter from Tim wrote Tim a thank-you message. In it, she explained that while her father was unable to write back, she wanted to take the opportunity to write to Tim herself. Tim says that the best thing about letters is that they can be read and reread infinitely many times. Letters are something that can be saved forever, and they are a very tangible way of showing someone that someone cares.

Remember the remember times; nobody can take those away from you, so remember them! - Tim

Finally, he shared a little advice about how to write a great letter. He says to try to imagine you are having a conversation and “jig something” in the senior’s memory. Not only is it good for their mind, but remembering a fond memory will keep up their spirits. He also asks them to reflect on this period of time and the contents of his letter. Does it remind them of a memory? Did the message resonate with them? Finally, he always closes his letters by reminding the seniors that “We shall get through this together”. Stay tuned on the blog, because I will be sharing another blogpost soon filled with more inspiration and letter writing tips from Tim!

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Love Oscar! Leave it to a cat to steal the show!!!

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