A big part of this article, originally ran on the Sarasota County Aging Network website, but wherever you are, being a volunteer can add an amazing element to your life. This is about giving back to your community. Check with the senior center in your own community for opportunities to lend your expertise and energy to a worthy organization.
"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."
- Solve problems
- Strengthen communities
- Improve lives
- Connect to others
- Transform our own lives
Older volunteers are the most likely to receive greater benefits from volunteering, Volunteering provides physical and social activity and reinforces a sense of purpose at a time when their social roles are changing as we age. Some of the study findings also indicate that volunteers who devote a “considerable” amount of time to volunteer activities (about 100 hours per year) are most likely to exhibit positive health outcomes.
Senior Friendship Centers was founded 41 years ago, on the belief in volunteerism – People Helping People. We believe that when we help others, we are really helping ourselves. Nearly 1200 volunteers contribute more than 88,000 hours per year, at in-kind value in excess of $4.5 million annually. Volunteers are the fuel that runs this non-profit organization, outnumbering staff 3:1.
Volunteers serve in nearly every aspect of the agency. Here are just some examples of the kinds of things they do:
- Volunteer physicians, dentists, pharmacists, nurses, dental hygienists, clinic aides and office assistants provide more than 25,000 visits annually to low income and uninsured seniors, many of whom would otherwise go without care.
- Volunteers provide vital support services, delivering meals, telephone reassurance and friendly visits to elders who are isolated and alone.
- They assist frail elders in the adult day services programs, and help family caregivers through the Caregiver Resource Center.
- They teach classes and assist with running the Friendship Centers, They serve meals, help people access help, and to Friendship at Home Volunteers.