In 1974, President Richard Nixon declared a “National Volunteer Week” in April, and ever since organizations nationwide have celebrated volunteerism all month long as part of National Volunteer Month. Whether it’s one day or a lifetime of commitment, there is no short supply of ways you can give back to your community. When it comes to donating your time and energy, no effort is too small.
Want to make a difference, but not sure where to start? Read our eight tips on how to find the best volunteer opportunity for YOU.
As a young girl, Reana Allen enjoyed visiting our adult day health program, Great Days for Seniors, at Hebrew Rehabilitation Center. Reana would come with her aunt, Lorna White, an activity coordinator in the program. “I still remember those days and how much fun I had. It made me feel like I had a second family,” says Reana. “I was surrounded by lots of people. They were like my grandpa and grandma.”
At Hebrew SeniorLife (HSL), we are always on the lookout for opportunities to bring seniors and young people together to build relationships and shatter stereotypes. We’re also deeply invested in training future generations of senior care providers. So when the opportunity came along to build a program that would combine the two, we jumped at the chance.
By this time every year many of us have already given up on our New Year’s resolutions, which all too often include a promise to take fitness seriously by maintaining an exercise or wellness regimen.
While many adults flounder in their efforts to change long-held behaviors, particularly those centered around wellness, it seems like adults age 65+ are enthusiastically embracing change and dedicated themselves to maintaining a healthy lifestyle all year long.
Writer Joan Halperin has lived at Orchard Cove for the past thirteen years. Originally from New York City, she relocated to New England to be closer to her daughter and son. She chose Hebrew SeniorLife’s Orchard Cove senior living community in Canton, MA as her new home due to its welcoming atmosphere and the fact that it was already home to many visual artists and writers with similar interests.
When it comes to LGBT elders, “most 90-year-olds have lived silent hidden lives.” This is one of the reasons that Rev. Mary Martha Thiel created a one-of-a-kind chaplaincy education unit, Spiritual Care of LGBT Elders. It’s part of the Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) program she directs at Hebrew SeniorLife. “We’re not aware of any other CPE program with a unit focused just on the needs of the elder LGBT community,” says Mary Martha.
Hebrew Rehabilitation Center has a large Haitian American staff that largely provide front line nursing care and food services for our residents and patients. Over the years I have gotten to know many of these staff members and shared good and challenging times together. I have not, however, learned enough about Haitian culture and religions, and so I jumped at the opportunity to be a visitor at a local Haitian Church.