In Good Company: Companionship in Different Forms
When making her first visit to a client as an In Good Company volunteer, Sister Ann was a little nervous. But as she continued to make friendly visits, she found that the companionship she offered could come in many forms. “I think the challenge of friendly visiting,” she says, “is to let the client set the pace.” Sister Ann, a Faithful Companion of Jesus (sitting left), has been volunteering with Fontbonne Ministries' In Good Company visiting program for over a year.
“When I see my client,” says Sister Ann, “I take some time to see how she’s feeling and what she’ll be in the mood for.” Sometimes, Sister Ann and her client go for walks in the park, sometimes they stay indoors and talk, and sometimes they sit together watching television or reading. As a visitor, she feels that her value is in offering a consistent presence. “I bring the support of a weekly visit,” says Sister Ann. “These visits are something that my client can count on. I think she looks forward to them.”
Thurston, also a visitor for In Good Company (pictured above, sitting right), feels that a friendly visitor has a singular role. “You can develop a very unique relationship with someone,” says Thurston. “My client shares a lot of experiences with me and I find the trust between us really valuable and special.” He appreciates the support that In Good Company provides. “The training covers all the boundaries, what you can and can’t do.” He also enjoys the monthly meetings where volunteers will share their experiences.
“If you can take an interest in others and give a little of your time,” says Thurston, “you can really make a difference as a visitor.”