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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : features : features May 25, 2016


7/19/2014 1:56:00 PM
Caregivers' volunteer driver would rather give than receive
VVCC volunteer Torrey Barcanic (right) takes Sonny Roa, who lives in Camp Verde, to weekly dialysis appointments in Cottonwood. Roa says he appreciates everything VVCC provides.
VVCC volunteer Torrey Barcanic (right) takes Sonny Roa, who lives in Camp Verde, to weekly dialysis appointments in Cottonwood. Roa says he appreciates everything VVCC provides.

Torrey Barcanic, a Verde Valley Caregivers volunteer says, "It is more rewarding to give than to get."

Barcanic, a volunteer since 2010, heard about Verde Valley Caregivers through word of mouth from friends, relatives, and other acquaintances in Denver, Colorado. He said VVCC was "a very well-known organization in the community."

What inspired Barcanic to get involved was something his daughter said to him: "Dad, you've got to do something where you're not in charge. Maybe do something like driving someone to the doctor?" Barcanic says this was when a light bulb came on and he thought of VVCC. Since then, he has had a lot of fun volunteering with the organization and has enjoyed the time he spends with neighbors.

Barcanic provides transportation to many neighbors throughout the Verde Valley. One of them is named Sonny. Barcanic drives him to get dialysis almost every Wednesday and has been doing so since December of 2012. Barcanic referred to Sonny as a "Renaissance man" because Sonny knows a lot of information about many different subjects and "can talk about anything."

When asked how volunteers make a difference, Barcanic said volunteers are the best option for doctor's appointments and grocery shopping.

"VVCC provides such terrific services at no charge. These services come in handy for seniors who can't walk or can only walk very limited distances."

He also feels that the neighbors are very grateful for the time that they get to spend with volunteers. "The time neighbors spend with volunteers "gives them a lift-not just a transportation lift-but a psychological lift."

Barcanic says VVCC is a fantastic organization that more people should become involved with. "It gives you a good feeling to do something for somebody else, especially someone who needs help." He also appreciates that VVCC provides extended liability insurance to drivers. "There is an obvious need for volunteers-the number of people who require transportation services continues to grow."

"We provide liability insurance, training and support, and mileage reimbursement to our volunteer drivers," says VVCC's Executive Director Kent Ellsworth. "Just about anyone can help. You don't need to have a set schedule. Any time volunteers can dedicate will make a difference. It can be as little as a few hours a month."

Barcanic encourages people to "pay it forward" because everyone will grow older and may need assistive services one day. When asked about his experiences, he says, "I find that it is really fun; it is not a chore."

For more information about becoming a volunteer, please contact Operations and Mobility Manager, Natalia Molina at (928) 204-1238 or email: nataliamolina@vvcaregivers.org. Because of summer vacations, volunteers are especially needed right now. Please visit our website at www.vvcaregivers.org.

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