Volunteering Benefits you and Your Community

Posted on

Jan 22, 2021

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Let me tell you about George. George lived in Washington State and has recently retired. While working he could light up a room with his smile and enjoyed spending time with his girlfriend and friends on the weekend. Georges hobby included serving as a foster for puppies and dogs. His home in Washington had a lot of space and he was able to foster the puppies and dogs until they could be adopted.
Like many new Floridians, George realized that he did not like the cold anymore so he decided to retire in the Sunshine State. He did not have any friends or family in Florida so it was just him and his girlfriend. Eventually, his girlfriend got a job and George was left to himself every day. George was renting so he was not able to foster anymore and this left a void for him. He was feeling lonely and longed for the companionship fostering once gave him and the friends it introduced him to. Over time he found himself feeling depressed and wondered if any other seniors felt that way too.
Well, there are many seniors that feel the same way that George does; in the United States, Americans aged 65 and older are the fastest growing population. According to a 2019 article in the Herald-Tribune in Sarasota, Floridas senior population is growing at twice the rate of other age groups in the state (Wunderlich, E., 2019). Many Baby Boomers who are either partially or fully retiring, find that it is important for their both physical and mental health to keep active and one way of keeping active is volunteerism. Volunteering is not just good for your community and the people you help, but also a great way to keep physically fit and mentally sharp. Research has shown people who volunteer report fewer feelings of isolation (88%), stable or improved health (84%) and fewer symptoms of depression (78%) (Senior Corps & Health Benefits, n.d.).
So lets check back in with George. He came to a volunteer event and learned about Volunteers for Community Impacts (VCI) RSVP program. Retired & Senior Volunteer Program engages volunteers 55 and older to help out local non-profit organizations. George was excited to learn that a local animal adoption center needed volunteers to work with their animals. George found a volunteer opportunity with us that allowed him to walk dogs at the adoption center. George told me he also met other volunteers there and after his shift he explores his new home town a little more each day.
How can you be like George? If youre 55 or older, then give VCI a call! For more information on our RSVP Program,(Orange, Seminole, and Osceola counties) please contact Volunteer for Community Impact at 407-823-4180 or visit our website at https://volunteersforcommunityimpact.org/

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Top 10 Volunteer Opportunities for Retirees

Loneliness and a lack of purpose is a common complaint among retirees. Once you finally dont have to go to work anymore, some seniors are surprised to experience feelings of depression and emptiness after retirement. Work can also provide an important social outlet that leaves a hole in its absence. Thankfully, there are lots of ways to address these feelings and enjoy your retirement. One great option is volunteer work. Here, we will explore the top 10 volunteer opportunities for retirees. Youll be able to find more meaning and social interaction in your life, while making a positive difference in the world. Mentoring and TutoringTeach others your skills by spending time mentoring and tutoring! Local schools, community centers, and adult education programs are often looking for volunteers to help out. Even if you dont consider yourself especially gifted in any one area, you probably have the skills to help a student with math or English homework. You could also help someone in your neighborhood learn a productive hobby, like making jam or crochet. Nonprofit OrganizationsWith all the nonprofit organizations out there, youre sure to find one that aligns with your passions and interests. Some examples include animal shelters, food banks, homeless shelters, or environmental conservation groups. You can take a more hands-on role by volunteering directly with the animals or community members. For seniors in more remote areas, or those with mobility challenges or health concerns, you can try finding online ways to volunteer with these nonprofit organizations. They may need help with grant writing, making phone calls, or answering emailsall of which can be done remotely. Hospital and Healthcare FacilitiesFor healthy and agile seniors, you might consider offering your support and companionship to patients and their families by volunteering at hospitals, hospices, or senior care centers. For example, some hospitals have volunteers who hold premature babies when their parents have to be away at work. You can make a meaningful difference in peoples lives when you volunteer in healthcare. LibrariesMany libraries are understaffed and underfunded. See if you can assist with library programs or help organize events. For example, you could host a childrens music hour or read local children's books at story time. You can also provide support to library staff by running book clubs or literacy programs.National Parks and ConservationIf the outdoors is your passion, volunteer with national or state parks! Volunteer as a park guide, help maintain trails, or assist local conservation organizations.Disaster Relief OrganizationsUnfortunately, there is no shortage of disaster in this world. There is always someone who needs help. Get involved with disaster relief organizations to assist in disaster response efforts, provide support to affected communities, or participate in emergency preparedness initiatives.Community GardensContribute your gardening skills by volunteering at community gardens. If none exist near you, try starting your own! You can teach others about getting started with gardening, sustainable gardening practices, and helping maintain the gardens. Museums and Art Galleries Share your passion for arts and culture by volunteering at museums or art galleries, guiding visitors, assisting with exhibits, or conducting research. Business MentoringThe skills you spent decades learning in the workforce can go on to help others who are just starting out, or who need a little help along the way. Offer your business expertise by mentoring entrepreneurs, startups, or individuals seeking career advice through organizations like SCORE or local business development centers.  Community Service OrganizationsJoin local community service organizations that address a variety of needs in your community, such as United Way or Rotary Club. You could also try organizations like the Red Cross and assist with things like blood drives. Many seniors enjoy volunteering with their local church service organization, too.  Retirement doesnt have to be a bore. With these top 10 volunteer opportunities for retirees, your life can be full of friends and meaning long after your workdays are over. If you have any questions, please call The Gallery at Broomfield at 303-656-3738.

How Do You Bridge the Gap Between Independent and Assisted Living?

How Do You Bridge the Gap Between Independent and Assisted Living? We all want to be independent and engaged citizens its human nature. So, when everyday tasks begin to become challenging, how do you stay actively engaged in the life you know and love? This is where hiring a "Nabor" with Naborforce is the ideal solution. Seniors and their families agree that hiring a Nabor can be an absolutely lifesaving and lifegiving experience. Who is Naborforce? What is a Nabor? Naborforce was created from a passion to help seniors and their families reduce stress and restore joy in the aging process. Founder Paige Wilson saw that if she could connect older adults with compassionate community members as helpers, they would regain access to the things they valued, improving their quality of life. A Nabor is not a caretaker, but rather a helper of sorts. These rigorously vetted helpers are simply Nabors helping older neighbors, providing the kind of light support and friendly hand a neighbor might offer. In days gone by, it was easy to ask a neighbor for help. But todays communities are less close knit as they once were. The Naborforce platform makes it safe and simple to get that help.  A Nabor does not provide any personal care bathing, feeding, medication management, etc. but, instead, offers on-demand support for errands, transportation, help around the home and companionship. For seniors who arent ready for the assistance of licensed home care, this kind of service helps them address the challenges at hand while not feeling like a burden to family or friends. If one hour of help is all thats needed, thats available and the minimum required sometimes that one hour makes all the difference in the productivity of that day. The unintended, beautiful result of a productive day is often a feeling of purpose, mental positivity and increased confidence. Naborforce helps aging seniors retain their independence and dignity, leaving them feeling more engaged and connected to the world around them.What Kinds of Services are Offered?Returning freedom and flexibility to both grown children and their aging parents, Nabors are able to offer (but are not limited to): Meal prep Transportation and companionship to appointments, work, classes, functions, salon and more Help with correspondence Organizing/cleaning out Light support with technology computer, tablet, smart phone Social engagement/conversation Help with pets Playing cards, games, reading aloud and assisting with hobbies An extra set of hands around the house and light housekeeping Taking the Pressure Off of FamiliesYou cant put a price on peace of mind, and this is especially true when it comes to the safety and happiness of family. The mental, physical and emotional load associated with worrying about aging parents can be overwhelming Are they OK? Am I doing enough? Many adult children face these challenges while also juggling the seemingly never-ending demands of their own children and careers. And if you are a grown child who lives in a different town from your aging parent(s), the whole situation is that much more difficult to manage.We desperately wish we could do it all, but the reality is that we cant. Its OK to need a little back up. In many ways, Nabors are thought of as backup sons and daughters, helping with the daily tasks and lengthy to-do lists, in turn enabling family time to be quality time. Seniors and their adult children can let go of the worry and get back to just enjoying each others company.  More Than Just Help Joy Ask seniors about their experience with Nabors, and they will tell you that its as much about the fellowship as it is the help. Nabors see it as their mission to spread joy and goodwill through their service, and that mission is felt. Nabors help their clients feel joyful, comfortable and connected to the community around them. It is so important to remain active and engaged throughout ones life, and Nabors make that easier and more fun -- than ever. Clients enjoy the freedom and autonomy of not having to be dependent on friends and family for assistance. Instead, they gain even more friends in their Nabors, and the pleasure is mutual.  The delight in hiring a Nabor is not only felt in the engagement, but also in the joyous aging such a service facilitates. Life doesnt have to slow down when this kind of help is available. Clients in their 80s and 90s are more than able to and do go into the office, attend art classes, keep up with volunteer jobs, and more with the help of their Nabors. This service is freedom. Seniors know they have much more to give this world, and they arent done yet!  Making An Impact on Future Generations The real beauty of Naborforce is found in the wealth of knowledge gained by the Nabors and the reciprocity of goodwill. The visits are not only rewarding for the seniors, but for the Nabors as well. They feel that they get even more out of the experiences than the seniors do! During their visits, it allows them to slow down and feel more grounded, and they benefit from the wisdom and perspective offered to them. They all remark about the countless ways it has enriched their lives. They have been given the opportunity to experience the richness of multi-generational friendships, while they serve the cherished new family who brings them joy.Your Dallas - Fort Worth Naborforce team is ready to assist with of your help at home needs!PLEASE NOTE: Naborforce DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY PERSONAL CARE. We do not assist with bathing, feeding, dressing or toileting. 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Make Giving Back Your Second Act

Older individuals are active more than ever before. It has been proven that they like to give back to their communities through volunteerism. To connect with others and be part of something bigger has been reported to give individuals fewer feelings of isolation. 88% of volunteers experience decreased anxiety, depression, and loneliness. While 84% report stable or improved health after one year of service.If you enjoy encouraging children to be their best self, and you are 55 or better and on a limited income, the Foster Grandparent Program could be what you are looking for.Giving back by serving children and helping those in need gives you purpose and helps teach them empathy and compassion. Children need positive, caring individuals to influence them with social, emotional, educational, self-help and learning skills. Its the little things that stand out to a child. Something as simple as being there on a consistent basis, listening, and providing extra one-on-one support can make an impact on a childs life. These small acts help build childrens confidence, self-esteem and life skills while building them up for success.There arent any educational requirements, just a passion to help children.  A Foster Grandparent volunteer provides 15 or more hours to support non-profit schools, Head Start and Early Head Start classrooms, childcare and development centers and after-school programs. Through service, volunteers can earn a non-taxable, non-reportable stipend that does not affect current benefits or services one may already have or have in the future, there is also travel reimbursement, supplemental accidental and liability insurance, professional development and recognition.Grandma Marlene says, Its a wonderful program, it gives you the opportunity to be compassionate and watch out for the well-being of children. Not to mention it keeps you active.  Why dont you bring out the best in America by making giving back your second act?Editors Note:  This article was submitted by Rebecca Maletto-Cornell, Foster Grandparent Program Director with Wesley Family Services and may be reached at 412-660-6841, by email at Rebecca.Maletto-Cornell@wfspa.org or online at fostergrandparents.wfspa.org.