Yesterday morning I was standing around in the hall waiting to get into the Employee Health Clinic when Margalea Warner passed by, said hello and had just about moved on when she turned to me and asked if I ever listened to Iowa Public Radio. I said I did, and she told me she was going to be on the Talk of Iowa show later that morning at 10:00.
I missed it because of a hectic schedule but I finally caught it tonight. She gave a very interesting account of her experience in the Compeer of Johnson County friend-matching program, which has been in operation for about the last 16 years. Incidentally there will be the annual Compeer of Johnson County Sound of Friendship Concert this Saturday at Our Redeemer Church.
Margalea is a stunning success story in meeting the challenges of living with mental illness most of her life. It turns out Margalea has been getting matched with friends through the Compeer program for many years. Compeer matches friends with those who have mental illness and the volunteers must commit for a year and get 3 hours of training. Both sides get a lot out of it and they need more volunteers.
You get a sense of Margalea’s sense of humor during the show. Like she says, “In the cookie of life, friends are the chocolate chips.”