When you first meet Arvin, a former local business owner, you’ll be impressed with his high energy, dry wit and constant grin.
After losing his wife to cancer, Arvin became increasingly depressed and somewhat reclusive. When his daughter noticed how her mother’s loss had affected Arvin’s overall health condition and mental state, she called Betsy Holzworth, our Friendly Visitors Program lead.
Betsy was able to match Alvin with Tina, a Friendly Visitors volunteer. Tina has been volunteering for Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas for 2 years.
Tina and Arvin have connected as friends who have experienced loss and are mutually supportive. “Arvin has so much to share. When I met him he was lonely but so joyful,” says Tina, “I lost both of my parents, my dad recently to cancer. Arvin is like an uncle to me. He helps me with perspective. We are two friends, who wouldn’t have met without Friendly Visitors, here to support each other through our losses and help each other spiritually mend.”
Arvin shares that Tina is “like family. She calls me daily and visits me weekly. She’ll swing by just to check in. We play chess…she’s a formidable opponent. ”
Tina and Arvin have become good friends. In addition to sharing stories and playing chess during their weekly visits, they go on neighborhood walks and shopping trips.
Arvin summarizes the value of the Friendly Visitors’ program by saying, “I think it provided a way for us to connect with each other. We both feel needed and feel like we have someone to share our daily ups and downs with. It’s really a blessing.”
To learn more about our program, visit the Friendly Visitors page.