As my first opportunity to write an article for The Voice, I would be severely remiss if I didn’t follow last month’s article by Phil Walker in lauding Bill Gottschalk’s truly outstanding and passionate commitment to Helping Hands.

Both Bill and his wife gave their all to ensure all Villagers were provided with free loans of durable medical equipment. Bill oversaw this program during the very trying COVID time. He set up appropriate processes and procedures that continue today to make sure all equipment is completely sanitized prior to issuing and to ensure the safety of volunteers and residents alike. Due to the significant increase in resident contacts (last year we had over 6,000), Bill reorganized the entire operation to be where residents pick up their loaned durable medical equipment at the Spanish Springs office.

Speaking of over 6,000 annual resident contacts, they take a significant amount of effort to execute and a significant number of resident volunteers in a few different areas to keep everything humming along. We’re always looking for resident volunteers who would like to assist their fellow Villagers by volunteering for our program.  It doesn’t have to be for a long period of time. Here are just a couple of areas where we could use your help and we will certainly train you to be the best you can be.

Office staff – This position requires a little computer knowledge. You do not need to be an expert, but understanding how to sign-on/off and open files would help. You would also help issue and receive the equipment. Resident volunteers in this position normally work a 2.5-hour shift at our Spanish Springs office once or twice a month.

Shuttle driver – This position requires using our own Helping Hands mini cargo van to move the durable medical equipment between the storage unit and our office in Spanish Springs. From that point the driver stages the equipment for that day’s pickups.  This position normally requires about a 2.5-hour effort bi-weekly.  Potential shuttle drivers must also have a clean driving record.

Coordinator – This position needs someone who has good telephone skills, is a good listener and is available to take calls and respond to messages on your specific day from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m (it is not the intent to stand by the phone all hours). A good understanding of Excel and Chrome to produce a report is also required. Helping Hands provides the computer and phone to perform these daily tasks.

None of these positions are very demanding, but we are anticipating an increase in resident contacts as our friendly, seasonal residents return. So, WE REALLY NEED YOUR HELP.  If you’re interested in volunteering, please contact us at 352-973-2284.

As always, we are “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” by providing free loans of purchased and donated durable medical equipment.  Please visit our website at to view our current inventory, then call us at 352-973-2284 to request your equipment.  Or you can email us at:


Al Arnold
Interim President
VHA Helping Hands