Compeer Volunteering A Good Fit For College Students And Retirees

The Compeer Program at Far West Center offers a unique volunteering experience. All that is required in Compeer volunteering is four hours per month, conversation, and friendship. Among our group of valuable volunteers are college students with challenging schedules and retirees that schedule around many family and social obligations. Compeer offers individual flexibility in planning volunteer time. Compeer also offers an enriching life experience for both students and seniors alike.

Compeer volunteering offers college students an opportunity to learn about mental health recovery. No previous knowledge about mental health issues or services is required. Volunteer training starts at a level agreed upon between the volunteer candidate and the Compeer Program Coordinator. All volunteers are given ongoing staff support. Volunteers are matched one to one with a same gender adult.

Counted among our current volunteers are students at Cleveland State University, the Mandel School of Social Work at Case Western Reserve University, University of Phoenix, and the Adler School of Professional Psychology. Students learn about mental health and recovery beyond what any course textbook can provide. As one volunteer stated, “Becoming a friend with a woman working on her recovery has shown me mental health issues from a personal angle. Her attitude and spirit are amazing!”  

College students interested in volunteering for Compeer do not need to be Psychology majors. Compeer may be an ideal program for students majoring in communications or in health care. Students of any major that have a friendly smile and compassion can learn to be in a Compeer Friendship Match.  

Retirees make excellent Compeer Volunteers! Individuals in recovery benefit greatly by the way Senior Volunteers share experiences and wisdom with their matches. Our Senior Volunteers also demonstrate examples of graceful but effective ways to manage life’s challenges. Compeer is fortunate to have among our volunteers persons retired from teaching, science labs, chemical engineering, the National Labor Relations Board, dentistry, factory inspection, assisted living facilities, retail, and accounting.

 In return, Compeer offers retired men and women a social and fun organization to be part of. Compeer offers a quarterly schedule with a variety of facilitated activities for our Compeer Friendship Matches. In addition Compeer volunteering is a meaningful and rewarding way to spend free time and help others who truly appreciate it.

A gentleman Compeer Member matched with one of our Senior Volunteers said, “I believe you are the best friend I ever had. You care about me and you tease me and make me laugh.” His Match Volunteer commented, “That is what makes it all worthwhile for me.” 

The Compeer Program has a lot to offer for college age students and men and women retired from their professions. The flexible scheduling Compeer offers can fit into the schedule of members from Tri-C to AARP! If you are interested in becoming a Compeer Volunteer please call the Compeer Office at 440-835-6212, ext. 242.  Questions welcome.

Denise Ayres

Compeer at Far West Center is a non profit mental health recovery program for adults. Far West Center has offered the Compeer Program to adults in Cuyahoga County beginning in 1989. Our Compeer Program is a branch of the international Compeer, Inc. non profit organization. Denise Ayres, LSW, is the Program Coordinator for Compeer at Far west Center. Please visit , we are listed under Westlake, Ohio.

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Volume 9, Issue 17, Posted 11:29 AM, 08.21.2013