Jeff was going through a difficult time and knew that volunteering would help himself as much as it might help another. He discovered the Meals on Wheels OC Friendly Visitor program during his search for volunteer opportunities and was instantly intrigued. Not only did he love the prospect of providing cheerful visits to an older adult seeking companionship, but the 39-year-old was also excited for the chance to benefit from the wisdom of someone older. When Jeff met his visiting companion, Ross, they both knew it was a perfect match.

Pre-pandemic, the pair met face-to-face. When COVID-19 hit, they transitioned their visits to Zoom sessions and phone calls. Playing the guitar and bongos together online soon became a favorite pastime!

Friendly Visitors generally chat for one hour a week, but visits between Jeff and Ross always go longer. Not only do the pair share common interests, but they also share the same core values and deep respect for one another. “We both are strong believers in accountability, duty, and service.” said Jeff. Ross agrees: “This experience is very fulfilling. Jeff is a wonderful and compassionate friend.”

Jeff finds Ross’s ability to navigate life’s challenges inspiring. “Life is unfair, but you have to find a way to survive,” Jeff said. “Ross has shown me how to keep moving forward and not give up when life kicks you.”

The pair have now been visiting for a year and a half and share a tight bond. Jeff said, “Ross and I will remain friends no matter what.” Ross agrees wholeheartedly: “Jeff is wonderful!”

Jeff and Ross have weekly virtual jam sessions