Enrich your Life By Working with a Personal Services Volunteer

Are you blind or have low vision? Could you use help with tasks such as reading mail, shopping for groceries or keeping fit? One of the most exciting and popular services we offer at the LightHouse is our Personal Services Volunteer program where we match volunteers with LightHouse clients who might need extra assistance.

Senior Alfritz Ngantung has been a part of the LightHouse community for many years. For the past three years he has worked with Personal Services Volunteer Kurt Lipschutz. Kurt is a poet, and songwriter (working chiefly with Bay Area recording artist Chuck Prophet). He’s lived in San Francisco since 1980 and had a cornea transplant in 2008, which motivated him to volunteer at the LightHouse.

With Kurt’s help, Alfritz efficiently manages his mail and important paperwork. For example, Kurt worked diligently with Alfred on the daunting application for United States citizenship; we congratulate Alfritz on successfully becoming a U.S. citizen. They make sure Alfritz stays active with invigorating walks through his neighborhood and the two have developed a rapport that provides Alfritz with companionship and lively conversation.

Alfritz speaks very highly of Kurt, “He really helps me out. I feel a true connection and friendship. We meet every Saturday and I really look forward to the time spent together.” Working with a Personal Services Volunteer for the past three years has really helped Alfritz remain independent and thus, much happier. He told us, “When you’re blind or low vision and aging, sometimes you have to re-learn how to be self-sufficient and regain your self-confidence. You have to recognize that you have limits and need help sometimes – you should never feel bad about that.”

Alfritz believes strongly that many people can benefit from the assistance and companionship of a LightHouse Personal Services Volunteer. Our Personal Services volunteers can work with you in a number of areas such as:

-reading mail, books, newspapers and periodicals
-writing checks, letters and correspondence
-home organization such as marking or labeling
-grocery shopping or errands with the client
-attending cultural, social or sporting events
-walking or transportation

LightHouse volunteers are eager to work with blind or visually impaired clients on some of the everyday aspects of life that may be challenging. In talking with you, Volunteer Coordinator Justine Harris-Richburgh will determine what kind of volunteer you are looking for to help you find the best match. You may only be looking for short term assistance or you might be interested in a longer term working relationship. It’s up to you.

Could you use a helping hand? If you are interested in being matched with a Personal Services Volunteer, please contact our Volunteer Coordinator, Justine Harris-Richburgh, at volunteer@lighthouse-sf.org or 415-694-7320.

Client Alfritz E. Ngantung, left, with friend and fellow LightHouse client, Vincent