Stu and Buddy: A multi-generational friendship.
Stu met Buddy in 2009. A business man and entrepreneur, he was between projects and found himself with a lot of free time. Stu called JFS of Metrowest to become involved as a volunteer and decided to take part in the Friendly Visitor program, a program which matches volunteers with an elder in the community to provide companionship and other relevant services, such as rides to the grocery store or doctor’s office, at a minimum of a couple hours a week.
Buddy, a former businessman and entrepreneur himself, was by then long retired and residing in elder housing in Metrowest. As a young man, Buddy was a prominent member of the community. Constantly jumping from one project to the next, at one time he owned a collection of Laundromats, later a printing business.
The sharp mind that kept all those projects a float has not dissipated with age. Upon their first meeting, the men swapped stories and talked shop. Buddy quickly proved himself to be someone with a great deal of business knowledge, someone Stu felt could guide him and offer him valuable advice.
“I like to get his thoughts and opinions on things,” says Stu. “We both had numerous careers and we kind of had to reinvent ourselves a few times in our lives.”
The average commitment of a friendly visitor is a year, but Stu’s friendship with Buddy is still going strong today. When Buddy moves or goes into the hospital, Stu follows up—calling at least once a week, driving over to check on him when he can. It’s a friendship that has only grown stronger as the men spend more time together and Buddy shares more of his history and experience.
“Buddy is an incredibly bright man, very tuned into current events,” says Stu. As a young man, Buddy was stationed domestically during WWII where he was involved in photography intelligence, examining photographs of enemy landscape for signs of dead foliage which could possibly be shielding military tanks. Buddy went on to work with the founder of Polaroid after the war, and has since maintained an interest in photography.
Stu is back at work on another business endeavor, which means he has less time to participate as a Friendly Visitor, but his involvement in the program has extended past the basic duties of the program and into lasting friendship. “The program got two men from different generations and brought us together and we’ve developed a strong friendship. I see Buddy not because of the Friendly Visitor Program, I see Buddy because I want to see my friend.”
The Friendly Visitor Program at JFS is a no fee-attached, free service that depends upon volunteers and generous donations. Please consider making a donation to the organization to allow the Friendly Visitor program and programs like it to continue filling the needs of elders in our community. All donations are tax deductible. A generous donor has agreed to match each incoming donation through July 15th. Please consider giving today. Click here or contact Susan Wulf at 508-875-3100 x260 email@example.com if you would like to learn more.
Would you like to be a Friendly Visitor? Please call 508-875-3100 X 170 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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