LifeScape volunteer program forms unique friendship over small engine repair

The statewide mission of LifeScape is to empower children and adults with disabilities to lead fulfilling lives. Volunteers play a significant role in that mission through the Volunteer Services Program.

Jon Haverly is a LifeScape volunteer.

"I thought 'I'll try it for a couple weeks and they'll find someone else'," Jon Haverly said.

Two years later, he still enjoys every moment. A lot of time is spent working with 18-year-old Harrison Masters on small engine repair which is something Jon enjoys in his free time.

"We hit it off right away. He works really good with me," Haverly said.

Repairing these engines has kick-started a special bond.

"I've been surprised at how much I've enjoyed it. We started out with fairly simple projects. Might take three sessions before we got it. Now, we'll be done in less than one session on the same type of project. He's learned so much about using tools and tool selection. It's really quite a pleasure working with him," Haverly said.

Harrison says he wants to be a mechanic and has a lot of fun working with Jon on Fridays.

"Volunteers have the power to change lives through their gift of time, sharing their talents, hobbies and skill sets as well as their power of friendship," Becky Sluiter said.

Volunteer Services Coordinator Becky Sluiter says anyone can become a volunteer through a simple application process.

"From that point, we match their skill sets, interest and time availability with LifeScape's needs and or a child/adult with same skills or interest level," Sluiter said.

She's thrilled to see the friendship formed between Jon and Harrison.

"When you look at them, they both walk away each Friday with a smile, they both have impacted each other's lives on a very powerful relationship," Sluiter said.

Over the last two years, Jon has enjoyed watching Harrison grow and looks forward to many more Fridays together.

"It's been far more rewarding for me than I thought was possible. IT feels really good to see him learn and spend some time helping him with his skill set," Haverly said.

Volunteers can enjoy skills ranging anywhere from mechanics to photographer or gardening among many others.

You can find more information about becoming a volunteer in the 'related links' section of this page.