From left: Dolores Viehman, SSA volunteer coordinator, Jane Clinger, SSA intern and MaryAnne Beatty, SSA outreach director.
Alexandria When I began my internship at the Senior Services of Alexandria, I only really knew about the Meals on Wheels program, which I had volunteered at with my mom when I was much younger. However, I quickly learned that there is much more to this organization. I did deliver meals to homebound seniors through Meals on Wheels like before, but I also brought “Animeals” to seniors with pets. I helped to stock senior information corners throughout the city to provide seniors with the knowledge of our programs available to them. When delivering groceries to a senior as part of the new Groceries to Go program, a client gave me freshly grown tomatoes from her garden as a thank-you, and I got to have a conversation with a 101-year-old woman through the Friendly Visitor program that told me about growing up in the Great Depression.
These kinds of personal connections I made with beneficiaries of SSA are what set this internship above anything else I could have done this summer. I got to see first-hand the invaluable work that every single staff member, board member, and volunteer working with the organization does on a daily basis, and the larger impact this work has on seniors of Alexandria. The truly rewarding part of my internship, though, has been the chance to make an impact on the lives of the seniors in Alexandria who deserve our respect and compassion. For this reason, I strongly encourage you to take a few hours out of your morning to volunteer in any way you can for SSA. Thanks to everyone at Senior Services who taught me that Meals on Wheels is not the only program they have, and for giving me an amazing summer experience.
Jane Clinger is a rising senior at Maret School in Washington, D.C. and she interned for Senior Services this summer. For more information about Senior Services and to volunteer go to seniorservicesalex.org or call 703-836-4414.