IN THE NEWS: Providing a chance to Kibbitz and Ride

Jennifer Shapiro-Sacks, Special Correspondent

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Jun 22, 2014

Name: Chuck Gorman
Age:  80
Residence:  Boynton Beach
Birthplace:  Providence, R.I.
Family:  Three children, Jeffrey, David and Linda Gorman; three grandchildren
Career:  Engineer and director of purchasing

Organization: Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services, with offices in Boca Raton and Delray Beach, offers a variety of programs, including food and financial assistance, senior services, counseling and mental health services and career and employment assistance. Gorman volunteers with the Kibbitz and Ride program, in which volunteers transport seniors who cannot drive to medical appointments, food shopping and other errands.

How long have you been volunteering there?

Three years.

Why do you volunteer?

I have to do something worthwhile to keep me busy, and this is the kind of volunteering that I'm doing other people good by taking them to doctors and back. And it's people oriented, and I get to meet and talk to other people and feel like I'm doing something worthwhile. The people I drive really appreciate that I give up my time to help them. It's rewarding. Some of them select me or try to so I can drive them because we always have an interesting conversation.

Why did you choose this organization?

I was at the Jewish community center looking for something to do and this popped up, and I said I'll take a stab at it and see if I like it. I feel good about it; I drive between six and 10 times a month.

Describe your volunteer role.

Jewish Family Services offers a service to the elderly who can't drive or get other transportation. I am registered with their transportation officer, and when she gets a request, she fulfills it. I pick up people mostly in Delray and take them anywhere they need to go for medical service and sometimes take them to fill a prescription.

What are your goals when you volunteer?

I just want to feel good about what I do. I want to provide a necessary service and want to help people. I volunteer at other places, too — for the Delray Beach Playhouse as house manager and usher and for the Jewish Federation.

What does your organization need?

I hear from the transportation coordinator that some of their drivers are people who are snowbirds, so in the summer they are challenged to get people to doctors at specific dates and times. It would be good to get more volunteers.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I find the people that I work with are very nice and understanding and the same for the people I give rides to, and the fact that it's appreciated makes it worthwhile. It's a very positive experience.

For more information, visit RalesJFS.org or call 561-852-3333.

Copyright © 2014, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Ruth & Norman Rales Jewish Family Services (JFS) provides help, hope and humanity through a comprehensive range of programs and services which support people of all ages and beliefs. With locations in Boca Raton and Delray Beach, JFS programs and services include food and financial assistance, senior services, career & employment services, counseling and mental health services and many volunteer opportunities. Funding is provided by private and corporate support, grants, special events and individuals who reach thousands in need each year. For more information about JFS call 561-852-3333. Learn more at www.ralesjfs.org.

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