Did you know that 61% of Americans report that they are lonely? I recently read about a wonderful program by the AARP called “Friendly Voices.” Volunteers make phone calls to lonely individuals who have requested to hear from someone. In the first few months of the program, which was started during the COVID 19 pandemic to help combat loneliness, over 4,000 people signed up to receive calls.
I wonder – do you know a lonely person who would enjoy hearing a warm and friendly voice on the other end of the line? Could you be that “friendly voice” who reaches out to a suffering friend or family member? Loneliness doesn’t affect just older people. According to Cigna Healthcare, people ages 18 – 22 report feeling lonelier than individuals over 70. Loneliness is a significant, but silent form of suffering.
Author Matthew Kelly writes in his book, The Rhythm of Life, that to make a difference in the world, ask God, “Who needs my attention and care today?” Perhaps the name of the person who pops up is lonely and would very much appreciate hearing from you. So pick up your phone and call someone today. The sound of your voice will make a difference in their life.
For more information, visit AARP’s Friendly Voice program.
Visit our archives on coping with loneliness for more information and resources.