This Is Norman: Communicare Participant & Travelin’ Man

His dream of going to Italy was made true with help from his volunteer companion, Kathleen.

Kathleen answered the call to volunteer for ECS’ companionship program, Communicare, after seeing an ad on the website Volunteer Match. She felt Communicare was appealing because of the ability to build a relationship with one person.

Kathleen quickly hit it off with the older gentleman she was matched to, Norman. Norman is blind and had recently retired and needed help with his mail and writing checks. Norman and Kathleen’s relationship quickly became a friendship. She learned that Norman spoke Italian like a native and had dreamed of one day going to Italy. However, Norman had two barriers preventing him from getting to Italy: finances and his vision.

Enter Kathleen!

Kathleen is going to school for her master’s degree in mass communications and decided to create a documentary of Norman and how he navigates through his daily life. This sparked the idea for Kathleen to start a crowd fundraising page so she could get Norman to Italy for his 67th birthday.

As Kathleen says, “Norman is so special and is always willing to help others.” This was her way to make his dream a reality.

You can follow their adventures stateside and in Italy at

(Photo courtesy Skyler Jenkins via