Moraine Park Technical College student, Jordyn Schmitt of Rubicon, has found a lasting friendship through her volunteer work at Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County. Schmitt, a first-year student in the College’s nursing program, is also part of Moraine Park’s Promise program, an opportunity for debt-free tuition. As part of the program requirements, Schmitt works to volunteer in her community and selected Interfaith as her service site.
“Interfaith allows me the flexibility I need in my life,” she said. “I can sign up based on my availability, which allows me to meet my hours as I can, without feeling stressed.”
Interfaith Caregivers of Washington County is a community-based non-profit organization that helps seniors in the county remain independent. Through community volunteers, they help with things a friend or neighbor might do, such as transportation, grocery shopping, or simply a friendly face checking in from time to time.
“I choose to provide transportation services,” Schmitt said. “I enjoy helping in this way. As a nursing student, I know how essential doctor appointments are and how, at times, transportation is a barrier. I’m glad to help where I can.”
It was through this volunteer work that Schmitt met Carole Banse of West Bend. Banse is unable to transport herself and relies on the support of Interfaith’s services for her vital doctor appointments.
“Interfaith Caregivers is a blessing and I always tell them they are my angels – they all are just beautiful people,” Banse said. “I don’t know what I would do without this service- it has really saved me. It helps my family too – it was hard to always ask them to take me early or pick me up – they have jobs and it is just too much.”
Schmitt and Banse have enjoyed each other’s company so much- that they make sure they are paired up in Interfaith’s system.
“Interfaith’s system allows the selection of preferred volunteers and members, and I always select Carole right away,” Schmitt said. “Carole and I have great conversations. I enjoy hearing about her life and family- and likewise, she asks about mine. We even found out that we are distantly related! I feel blessed to know her and be part of her life.”
The relationship being cultivated between Schmitt and Banse is exactly what Moraine Park’s community impact initiatives hope to achieve- a seemingly small service within the community that makes a lasting impact.
“Jordyn and I have such good conversations when we get together- even with the age difference,” Banse said. “She fits in so beautifully and she doesn’t treat me like an old lady. She is always bubbly and perks me up. I am very thankful.”
The pandemic halted Interfaith’s services for a while, but when they restarted in February of 2021, Schmitt and Banse were excited to resume their normal routine.
“I would have never guessed that I would make a lifelong friend through this opportunity,” Schmitt said. “My advice to others is to open yourself up, give it a try, and never put an age limitation on friendship.”
Schmitt is expected to graduate in May of 2023 and hopes to continue volunteering for Interfaith and driving Banse, throughout her schooling.