Something Nobody Could See!
George heard about CA through the newspaper ad the volunteer Center had placed for advocates. At first George wanted to be what we call an advocate associate. He was not interested in a one–to–one relationship with a person and didn’t want to become personally involved. He commented he was not a very social person and didn’t have many interests. I did talk with him about Mike in Jackson on the first meeting to give him some idea of at least one of the person I was working for. We decided to meet again.
At our second meeting George came across confident that he could be an advocate. We talked about the difference between an advocate associate and an advocate. We talked about the commitment and the way an advocate goes about knowing their partners like and dislikes. We went into detail about Mike in Jackson.
Mike’s mother called CA because she saw Mike’s vulnerability would increase when she could no longer take care of him. George had naturally advocated for his mother when she had medical needs and an uncle who had no children of his own. George was asked to make sure Mike knew his choices. George not only made Mike aware of housing choices but also began to see something in Mike that no one else had ever imagined. He thought Mike was able to read. George connected Mike to the adult literacy program and arranged for him to get to the meetings. We’re happy to say that Mike is now reading. Although Mike is a man of few words, having the ability to read has opened an entirely new life to him. But, George didn’t stop there. Since one of George’s hobbies was photography, he thought Mike might enjoy this hobby too. And, since a picture is “worth a thousand words,” it really doesn’t matter that there are few words passed between advocate and partner.
George states his relationship with Mike was worthwhile for him and it made him feel good and he feels confident he will be a good advocate for Mike as long as he’s around.