Brian M., who lives near the JF&CS office in Dunwoody, stopped in at the beginning of the pandemic and asked how he might be of help. He filled out a volunteer application and was directed to Vivienne Kurland, Program Coordinator of One Good Deed, JF&CS’ friendly visitor program supporting older adults.
His timing was terrific. One Good Deed was quickly pivoting to a Phone Friend Program connecting volunteers with older adults who were at heightened risk of loneliness and isolation due to COVID-19 guidelines.
Sharon Spiegelman, One Good Deed’s Program Manager, and her partner Vivienne Kurland, had a match in mind. They had met with a man named Leonard shortly before the pandemic and had a good feeling about Brian and Leonard being a great match.
To quote Brian, “This was a friendship that clicked from the first call!”
The pair quickly established a close bond around a common interest — sports. “We’d recap what happened in sports, with no judgments, no matter what teams we root for.” After a FaceTime call, Leonard said, “I get a vicarious thrill out of hearing what you’re doing at your job.”
As soon as both Brian and Leonard were both fully vaccinated, they arranged to meet. Brian had previously said on a FaceTime call, “I look forward to the day when it’s safe enough to meet in person.”
Now it’s happening! So far, the pair have enjoyed lunch together and a tour of Tucker, where Leonard lives. Brian reciprocated with an incredible treat for Leonard who had not been to a baseball game in four years — he got tickets to a Braves game, and they sat right behind the dugout, where both enjoyed complimentary food and beverages!
Learn more about supporting an older adult through One Good Deed. We also celebrate Sharon Spiegelman who is retiring from the program she managed and sustained for more than 15 years. Thank you, Sharon!