Walter is in his 70s and lives alone, aside from his beloved pets. He suffers from anxiety issues and life was a daily struggle. Several years ago at the request of a friend from his church he agreed to allow two women who were homeless to stay with him while they got back on their feet. While one woman recovered and found an apartment the other didn't and the situation became dangerous.
After seriously damaging his home, destroying his property and brutally assaulting him Walter was finally able to get her out of his house with the help of police. When we launched our Practical Kindness program we immediately thought of Walter and took steps to try and make a difference for him. After replacing furniture, painting the walls and installing new flooring and kitchen counters it looked like a different home.
Unfortunately Walter still struggled with anxiety. He called our office frequently, sometimes in tears, to speak with his outreach worker and he left messages at all hours of the day and night because he had no one else to talk to. We tried to match him in our Friendly Visiting program but his anxiety was so severe that he wasn't comfortable having a volunteer come and visit him at home. Finally, we decided to try Telephone Reassurance to see if just a phone call a day could help relieve some of the stress and loneliness he felt. We found a wonderful, kind volunteer who began calling him daily and hoped for the best.
Now several months later Walter is a different man. He no longer calls our offices continuously and when we do speak to him to check in he sounds relaxed and calm. There are no more tears or yelling and he is no longer constantly afraid and isolated. All it takes is a phone call a day to prove that someone cares to make a truly miraculous impact on his life. He is proof that although you may think your contribution may be small and insignificant, it might make all the difference for someone who needs it.