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More Than a Call, A Friendship

Every Wednesday at 3:00pm, volunteer and board member Helaine Suval picks up the phone and calls Sandra, her 89-year-old Caring Calls partner and professor emeritus of dance at Barnard College, for a friendly chat.

“I look forward to our weekly call as much now as ever -- and we’ve been talking every week since March 2020, the very beginning of the pandemic,” said Helaine. "It’s not an obligation, it’s not a phone call – it’s a friendship."

Helaine signed up for Caring Calls because she has both a special place in her heart for older adults, and a philanthropic philosophy of volunteering in addition to giving money.

“It’s important to me to know that I am doing something to help make someone else’s life a little brighter, a little happier – it’s a mitzvah,” she added. “Truthfully, I get as much out of the calls as I give –our calls bring us both great joy,” said Helaine.

Helaine and Sandra took their phone friendship one step further this summer when Sandra invited Helaine and her husband to celebrate her birthday with her in her home, amidst the paintings that Sandra produced during her lifetime of creative endeavors.

Interested in becoming a Caring Calls Volunteer? Are you a new volunteer? Please sign up for an upcoming Volunteer Orientation and Information Session. If you are currently a DOROT volunteer and have already attended an orientation session, contact

Interested in being matched with a Caring Calls Volunteer? Call 212-769-2850 or contact