Compeer volunteer Carol Taylor honored by United Way

Far West Center is a United Way agency and has an annual opportunity to nominate a United Way Spotlight Volunteer. Last year we nominated Compeer volunteer Josef Vyvoda, a Westlake resident. Our nomination for 2011 is another outstanding Compeer volunteer, Carol Taylor. Carol was honored at the annual meeting of United Way of Greater Cleveland on March 2.

Carol became a Compeer volunteer in November 2010 after reading one of our articles in the Observer, and began her Compeer Friendship Match with Laurie. Carol has provided true friendship and encouragement to Laurie, a woman in recovery from mental illness.

Weekly phone calls from Carol remind Laurie that she is Carol’s valued friend. Carol has said she enjoys Laurie’s friendship and looks forward to getting together with Laurie throughout each month. Together these two friends decide on the times and places to meet.

Carol and Laurie have remained good friends in fun times and in sad times. During times of family illnesses and loss of a loved one both were there to offer each other support.    

Carol has devoted a lifetime to helping others and continues to do so today. As a school teacher, now retired, Carol has started many on their way to an education, occupation and community service. Presently Carol is a tutor for adults who are improving reading skills. In addition to volunteering for Compeer, Carol volunteers in her church community and for a garden club. 

Carol shares her warm smile and kind encouragement with everyone she meets. The Compeer Program is very fortunate to have her in our group of Valuable Volunteers. Carol is an excellent example of how offering friendship can help others to regain positive self-esteem. 

You can now read more about how the Compeer Program works in a recently published research study by Dr. Ann Montclaire entitled “Friendship Really Matters: Exploring effects of Compeer friendships for people experiencing mental illness.” You can access a copy of this study by visiting and clicking on “read more.” 

To become a Compeer volunteer or Compeer member call 440-835-6212, ext. 242, or email

To receive more information on United Way of Greater Cleveland and “Spotlight Volunteers” please visit

Denise Ayres

The Compeer Program has been serving adults that are managing mental illness from our Far West Center office for almost 21 years!

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Volume 4, Issue 5, Posted 1:30 PM, 03.06.2012