Volunteer Vignettes: Appointment Accompaniment Volunteer
Each accompaniment is a brand new experience: volunteers meet new individuals, families, challenges, and rewarding moments every time.
Appointment Accompaniment Volunteer Leslie Weiler discusses his experiences volunteering with HIAS PA.
For Leslie, the main role of appointment accompaniment to educate and advocate. Accompaniment is not just about taking a client to an appointment – it is also about fostering the client’s own independence by teaching them how to use public transit along the way, and acting as an advocate once at the appointment.
As part of his training experience, Leslie first shadowed a fellow appointment accompaniment volunteer before doing his first solo accompaniment. Even though each appointment is different, Leslie believes the shadowing experience provides good insight for new volunteers.
Yes, each appointment can certainly be different! A variety of new information may present itself, and mishaps may arise, from document names – and different names on documents! – to working with staff who have no prior experience working with our clients. This position takes patience, both with clients and medical staff.
When asked what is most rewarding, Leslie said it was the connections. Meeting people, contributing to their process of becoming an established community member, and exploring the city are just a few of his favorite parts.
Become an Appointment Accompaniment Volunteer today! Check out our Volunteer page for more information.