The Best Version of Myself

Wilshire Blog post

The Best Version of Myself

When you ask Ray Fada why he volunteers with Wilshire Community Services, he says, “When I reflect on my day and ask myself, when was I the best version of myself yesterday,” the answer is often centered around time spent giving back. Time he volunteered to help someone by picking up their groceries or driving them to an appointment, chatting with them about their day and their lives. These are the moments that he speaks of fondly as good parts of his day.



Kristen Grasso, Wilshire Community Services’ Volunteer Coordinator, shared that when Ray and his wife Pam started volunteering, they “didn’t waste any time jumping in to start assisting. They have helped some of our more difficult clients as far as needs and have done it graciously.” With a dedication to using their free time in retirement to give back, they are committed to helping where they can.

He first started volunteering with WCS’s Good Neighbor Program by going grocery shopping for homebound older adults, picking up their groceries, prescriptions, supplies and delivering them to their homes. Now he has started providing transportation assistance and driving clients to appointments. He says one of the best parts of this volunteer work is the ease of how it works at Wilshire. The list of opportunities to help gets sent out on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to the volunteers so they can see what they are interested in or what they have time for. He says, “You can be as busy as you want with this. You can get involved as much or as little as you want.”

On a trip in 2011 where he and his family drove from Los Angeles to Seattle, he and his wife visited the Central Coast and decided that they would like to live here. So last year after they both retired, they packed up their home in St. Louis, Missouri and moved to Pismo Beach.

Volunteering has helped them feel more at more here in their new home; connecting through this work has allowed them to integrate into the community and meet people with shared common interests. Not to mention all the driving around really helped him get to know the area and he now feels very comfortable knowing where he is going. Ray says, “We are very, very happy here!”

“They have been a blessing because so many of our volunteers stopped any face-to-face assistance with clients,” shared Kristen. If you are interested and willing to assist older adults in our community by becoming a volunteer driver and assisting clients served by Wilshire Community Services, please email or call Kristen at or (805) 503-8174.

Thank you, Ray, for your and Pam’s passion for giving back and for joining Wilshire in this work to help people live a better life!