Serving the Chicago area, DePaul University’s “Buddy Program” is a community-based initiative organized more than 10 years ago by Dr. Leonard Jason, PhD, and Jennifer Shlaes at the Center for Community Research.
The purpose of the program – offered for both English-speaking and Spanish-speaking participants (as El Programa del Amigo) – is to alleviate physical strain and exertion as well as the emotional pain associated with “involuntary isolation” among people suffering with Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.
All volunteers go through an orientation, and training to learn about these illnesses.
Then the program pairs each patient with a volunteer buddy who can offer various types of support on a weekly basis via visits and/or phone. Support may range from empathetic listening to practical assistance such as grocery shopping or other errands, or deskwork. (No homemaker/maid or medical services.)
A buddy request form for patients and an application form for interested volunteers may be found, completed, and submitted online at the program’s website – http://thebuddyprogram.tripod.com/id5.html For questions about the program, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also call the program at 773/325-1897 to ask that a form be mailed to you, or write to:
The Buddy Program, Center for Community Research
990 W. Fullerton Ave, Suite 3100
Chicago IL 60614