Compeer thanks Westlake man for six years of volunteer service

Compeer volunteer Josef Vyvoda, of Westlake, was honored as a "United Way Spotlight Volunteer" for 2010.

Our Compeer Program is fortunate to have many outstanding men and women volunteering their time for individuals in isolation. Our Valuable Volunteers offer friendship on a one-to-one basis to adults who are managing chronic mental illness.

Our volunteers help individuals by scheduling regular phone calls, making home visits, arranging meetings at community places and encouraging their Match Members to attend Compeer Social Events. This very important work is a great help to an individual who may be depressed and/or suffers anxiety as a result of managing mental illness.

Imagine if something occurred in your life that completely removed you from your peer group. Perhaps you have suffered a physical or mental illness that keeps you isolated at home for a long time. Life continues to go on outside your home and you become depressed.  

When your recovery is almost complete you find yourself either too depressed or too frightened to go out and rejoin your community. If you can imagine this, you may now understand what happens for our Compeer members. This is why it is so important that people come forward and volunteer to help Compeer with our service mission: "Making Friends. Changing Lives.” 

Each year, United Way asks Far West Center to inform them about people that have done outstanding volunteer work for our agency. For 2010 our Compeer Valuable Volunteer, Mr. Josef Vyvoda, was chosen as a “United Way Spotlight Volunteer.” Josef Vyvoda became a Compeer volunteer and was matched with a Compeer member six years ago. Not only does Josef encourage the gentleman he is matched with, Josef also encourages many other members of our program.

Josef Vyvoda, a Westlake resident, is an Industrial Research Chemist and Engineer. He discovered the Compeer Program through a posting at Westlake Porter Public Library. Josef has been matched with the same gentleman since he began Compeer in 2005. 

I have known this gentleman since the 1990s and have seen first hand how Josef’s ongoing friendship has brought back a light to his friend’s eyes and a frequent smile to his face. By offering friendship, Josef truly is changing the lives of Compeer members.

Josef and his Compeer match enjoy many social activities. They enjoy meeting for lunch, home visits, school hockey games and music performances. They have a good time at the Annual Compeer Holiday Party and Annual Compeer Picnic. They laugh with the fun-loving group at our two monthly Coffee Night Mondays. They attend our monthly Game Night where they join others for a Scrabble challenge or a game of group charades.

Please consider becoming a Compeer volunteer. We are happy to answer questions at either 440-835-6212, ext. 242. or   

Denise Ayres

Denise Ayres is the Compeer Program Coordinator.

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Volume 3, Issue 12, Posted 2:21 PM, 06.14.2011