The Meals on Wheels San Antonio Friendly Visitor Program is a volunteer-based program where the goal is to provide companionship and a meaningful friendship to a homebound citizen in Bexar County. Friendly Visitors are matched with a homebound senior based on personality/interests and scheduling needs. Friendly Visitor volunteers usually serve one to three hours per week with a homebound senior and do things such as play games, take a walk, or chat over coffee or tea. This position is great for individuals who have a heart for helping out others and who would love to spend some free time with a person who needs a Friendly Visitor. Too often, seniors who are no longer able to leave their homes can start to feel isolated, lonely,and depressed, which may worsen existing health conditions. Friendly Visitor volunteers help to alleviate concerns by visiting a homebound senior to provide much needed companionship. Just a simple conversation can make all the difference to lonely person.
Here's what some of our clients are saying about their visits and visitors...
“I love her. Having her really helps, especially since losing my son. I was so lonely, but she’s helped me.”
“I am happier since she started visiting.”
“I eat better since she started visiting”
"I feel inspired to stay independent."
When asked if they had to stop visiting, Friendly Visitor volunteers are saying...
“I would really miss the friends I have made.”
"I would feel worse knowing there are elderly people in our neighborhoods who are lonely and no one is doing anything about it.”
“I wouldn’t feel as helpful and community oriented if I weren’t in the program. The Friendly Visitor program provides me the opportunity to do that on my own schedule.”
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to receive services?
Meals on Wheels client who is in need of companionship services, may be suffering from depression, or has experienced the loss of a loved one, may be eligible for service.
How do I get involved?
Volunteers interested in becoming a Friendly Visitor must be able to relate to older adults in a positive and warm manner. In addition, volunteers must comply with the following:
Are at least 18 years of age
Must pass a criminal and sex offender background check
Must complete an one hour training/orientation
Our elderly clients greatly appreciate volunteers who can be a little flexible to their needs for quality time
Must be able to relate in a positive and warm manner to older adults
Is this a paid volunteer opportunity?
No, this is not a paid volunteer opportunity.
What are the responsibilities of a Friendly Visitor volunteer?
Friendly Visitor volunteers are matched with older adults based on personality and interest, so that a bond can easily be developed. Once paired, volunteers are expected to provide friendship and conversation. In some cases, Friendly Visitors offer minor assistance where appropriate (e.g. walks in the neighborhood, computer assistance, etc.).
Who should I contact to sign-up as a volunteer or sign-up to receive services?
For more information about receiving services, please contact a member of our Client Services team at 210-735-5115.
To learn more about volunteering, please fill out the below form; or contact Casey Parker, Community Engagement Coordinator, by email; or call 210-735-5115.
How is the Friendly Visitor Program funded?
The Friendly Visitor Program is supported by the City of San Antonio, Department of Human Services.