October 12, 2023

Vicky Makky accepts MAVA’s Excellence in Volunteerism award

We are thrilled and honored to announce that Vicky Makky has accepted the MAVA’s Excellence in Volunteerism award.

Vicky’s commitment to serving others as a long-time volunteer at Friends & Co, formerly known as Little Brothers – Friends of the Elderly, makes her a much-deserving candidate for this recognition.

At Friends & Co, our mission revolves around fostering meaningful connections for older adults, and Vicky embodies this philosophy. As a versatile and committed volunteer, she embraces three volunteer roles within our organization: a dedicated Phone and Visiting Companion, a considerate assessor, and a caring Coffee Talker.

As a dedicated Phone and Visiting Companion volunteer for over ten years, Vicky provides companionship to two older Minnesotans. Vicky’s dedication to providing companionship, connection, and friendship has left a lasting imprint on the lives of those she serves. She goes above and beyond to support her companions by providing connection and conversation regularly, helping bring cheer by dropping off holiday goodies or picking them up to take them for coffee, and being a sounding board to help them navigate difficult situations that arise. Vicky serves as a pillar of support, encouraging her companions as they navigate older adulthood. She does this with grace, empathy, and wisdom. In doing so, Vicky profoundly enriches the lives of those fortunate enough to be paired with her.

Vicky’s contributions extend further as an invaluable Coffee Talk volunteer. Week after week, she generously volunteers her time to support the callers who phone into the Coffee Talk phone line, a line available to older Minnesotans who are feeling isolated or lonely. Vicky has answered hundreds of calls to offer friendly conversation to older adults throughout the state who are looking for additional connection, community, and conversation in their daily lives. Not only does Vicky listen, but she also proactively advocates for our callers, ensuring they are informed about local resources and making sure they leave the conversation feeling heard and knowing they matter.

Beyond her roles as a companion and Coffee Talker, Vicky wears the hat of a volunteer older adult assessor. Every week, she devotes time to calling older adults who express interest in signing up for or obtaining information about our no-cost services. Throughout these conversations, Vicky skillfully engages with the older adults, putting them at ease while addressing their inquiries and concerns. She recognizes the challenges and sometimes embarrassment that older adults might face when seeking assistance. Vicky’s empathetic approach fosters a sense of comfort, making them feel not only comfortable but empowered to reach out and access the support they need.

Through Vicky’s selfless efforts and nearly 1,000 hours of service, the lives of countless older adults have been enriched.

Congratulations, Vicky Makky, for winning the MAVA’s Excellence in Volunteerism Award. Your contributions exemplify the spirit of compassion, dedication, and positive change that this award honors.