Lehigh Valley

Spirit of Giving: Compeer of the Lehigh Valley

Until recently, a turtle named Tiger was 65-year-old Vivienne Ho's only daily friend. However, six months ago the Allentown woman made a connection with Carmon Kay.

"She doesn't go out much. She stays in her apartment for 24-7 pretty much," Kay said.

Unless she goes out with Kay who is a volunteer for Compeer of the Lehigh Valley, an Allentown-based nonprofit that matches senior adults in need of a little company.

"Our program is similar to big brother and big sister programs, only with adults who suffer from mental illness," said volunteer coordinator Michelle Renner.

Kay spends four hours a month with Vivienne.

"She always makes me laugh. She is like a little girl. There is always something new," Kay said.

Vivienne isn't alone in being lonely, however. Compeer has just 11 volunteers. There's a backlog of 45 seniors waiting for a friend, some for over a year.

"A New Year's resolution. Put that on your list," Kay said.

What Kay doesn't have in money she has in time.

"The satisfaction is seeing her smiling," Kay said.

Head to Compeer of the Lehigh Valley's website to learn more.


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