Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Community Foundation seeks PORCH volunteers

Canton Community Foundation members are looking for folks to join them on the PORCH.
PORCH is an acronym for Providing Others with Renewed Confidence and Hope, and follows a needs assessment completed about a year ago, said Mili Tandon of the foundation. The study found “loneliness in the community” and a need to “to help alleviate the problem of social isolation.”
Volunteers age 18 and up are being sought in the Plymouth-Canton area, with plans to reach out geographically later on. The designated Friend is the trained volunteer who will visit those in the program, said Tandon, while the designated Neighbor is the person getting the visit.

Tandon has been with the Canton Community Foundation some three years, and as the developmental associate started PORCH work about six months ago. She's using Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter to reach volunteers. Anyone interested is welcome to call the foundation at (734) 495-1200 for help filling out the volunteer form.
Background checks are performed for volunteers, followed by training: “And you are ready to help,” said Tandon. “One of the problems that became clear is there's social isolation which can lead to drug abuse, depression, it all results into mental illness.
“We are just open for everyone to approach us. We would be happy to help them understand there's many ways to become a volunteer for PORCH,” Tandon said.
The Canton Community Foundation website at has the form. Volunteers will visit their Neighbor once a week for an hour, for at least three months.
Training starting next month and will include two Canton Community Foundation board members who are also on the PORCH committee, Crystal Schroeder and Patty Esselink, who serves as a Canton  policewoman in addition to her foundation volunteer work.