Breaking the Ice

Breaking the Ice

Because you’ve been a longtime friend and donor, you may already know that the heart and soul of Little Brothers is our home visiting program. But breaking the ice during those first encounters is not always easy. How does a visiting volunteer become a friend?

This year’s memorial service brought out some wonderful memories from our visiting volunteers as we celebrated and remembered our “forever friends.” As a way to honor those who died this past year, volunteers were asked to recount a story or favorite memory.

Volunteers George and Sharon were matched to visit Ellen, a 95 year old widow and retired teacher living in the Baraga area. George recalled how guarded Ellen was of them on their first visit. “There was that barrier, you could feel it. But for us,” he remembered, “It was ‘ice and fire.’ Cold at first when she didn’t know us, but as soon as we realized that she had been taught by my mother in grade school, some 85 years ago, her face lit up and from then on, we clicked.”

“When you go to visit a stranger, you don’t know how or what is going to be that connection, that thing to get you off and running,” he said. George and Sharon kept visiting and over time found small ways to help. Eventually, he recalled, “She started calling us to help with minor stuff—car repairs, medical visits. In short, we had gained her trust –which is what it’s all about.”

Thank you George and Sharon and all the other home visiting volunteers who have pressed on through some awkward first moments to forge lifelong friendships. We wholeheartedly appreciate the difference you make in the lives of our elderly friends. We are always looking for more home visitors and donations to support the program. If you’re interested in either, please let us know. You may always earmark your donations for particular programs.


Cathy Kass-Aten