Gio with my dog Mac


Lydia Bristow

I volunteer for IHC

I do buddy volunteering with IHC. I was matched with Gio and we hang out every Tuesday afternoon. We do normal things like shopping, museums, eating out, movies, walking, going to the zoo etc.

What is your touching moment?

The most touching moment for me was when Gio met my dog, Mac. Gio does not have a dog, however, he LOVES them. When we were matched he was so excited that I had a dog. When Gio first met Mac it was really special. Mac is a rescue dog and gets a bit nervous around people. At first, he was nervous about Gio, but after encouragement from me, they became great friends. Mac settled in on Gio’s lap on our couch. Gio was so happy and I felt that this really helped Gio become more open with me. 

What would you consider as the biggest benefit of volunteering?

I got into volunteering to improve someone else’s life but ended up improving my own life too. Gio’s friendship is so refreshing, I look forward to our chats and laughing with Gio. Gio has taught me to enjoy the simple things in life again; he has taught me that human connection is so important for everyone and to never judge a book by its cover.

What does volunteering mean to you?

It means that a little time can do a lot within society. I only volunteer a few hours a week, but it makes a difference. When you make a difference you feel good inside.