Left Hand Valley Courier - All Local, All The Time

By Jen Rodehaver
Editorial@lhvc.com 

Left Hand Laurel: Alyssa Danigelis

 

August 18, 2017

Courtesy Photo Alyssa Danigelis.

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Successful writer and editor Alyssa Danigelis loves the freedom and flexibility of doing freelance work from her Gunbarrel home, but acknowledges there is a downside. Spending too much time alone can leave her feeling isolated.

Realizing that volunteer work in the community might provide meaningful social interaction, Danigelis set out to find which available opportunity would best use her skills.

She discovered a good match at Boulder County CareConnect that is part of the Carry - Out Caravan program. Danigelis now spends two hours a week taking phone orders from seniors and adults, with limited mobility, for groceries that will be purchased and delivered the next day.

Danigelis said the work requires attention to detail and quick typing. Having strong interview skills comes in handy, too.

Listening and being there for the clients is Danigelis’ way of knowing she is helping others. Danigelis has learned which questions to ask, including the size and weight of the item, whether the produce requested is organic, and other key details. Often the orders contain unexpected or interesting requests and Danigelis says the activity is never boring.

“You wouldn’t think a list of groceries would be a doorway into a person’s life, but often it leads to a personal connection,” she said. Some clients share exciting news or personal challenges, along with their recipes and the unusual ingredients they’re seeking from the grocery store.

Growing up in Vermont, Danigelis was close to her Greek paternal grandmother, whose flavorful dishes she still remembers fondly. Those memories helped foster ease in connecting with seniors, especially over food. These positive feelings extend to her colleagues in CareConnect’s Gunbarrel office. She enjoys the camaraderie between the staff and volunteers. “These are wonderful people, “ Danigelis says, “and fun!”

Thalia Foster, CareConnect’s Volunteer Manager said, “Alyssa’s impact on our office and on our services has been amazing. She always brings a positive attitude and bright smile into the office. When she is not around, it is noticeable. … We can often overhear Alyssa speak with her many beloved clients, asking them how their granddaughter’s visit went or if they had gotten over their colds. She remembers each and every person she talks with, getting to know them, and becoming almost family.”

There are additional volunteering opportunities with CareConnect. The organization provides snow and ice removal, yard work, home repairs, grocery shopping and delivery as well as medical mobility services to clients. Each role requires different skill sets combined with a sincere desire to contribute. If you would like to volunteer or if you need these services contact: Boulder County CareConnect at 6325 Gunpark Drive, Suite F, Boulder, CO 80301 or call 303-443-1933.

 

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