Volunteers can be viewed as the glue that holds a community together. Nearly every aspect of society is impacted by the work of individuals willing to roll up their sleeves and give of themselves to help others.
Volunteering at the local library, for example, boosts education and access to information, which affects worker salaries and economic growth. Supporting essential workers helps ensure the safety and health of the community, and many parks, theaters and sports facilities that provide recreation rely on volunteers to function.
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. Peter 4:10 NLT
Getting started with volunteering is as easy as asking local churches, organizations and the staff here. Nearly every type of skill set and life experience can be beneficial when serving others, making seniors a valuable addition to any team.
The Bible teaches believers to treasure children. Helping youth grow and thrive is one of the best legacies an older adult can build.
An international learning service, Outreach 360 offers English classes and career mentoring to youth in Latin America. The learning opportunity helps empower kids, giving them tools to build their future.
Since it's a virtual service using Zoom, it only requires participants to have a computer or laptop and a reliable internet connection.
Just 8 minutes from our location on Peoria Drive, the Dysart Community Center has ongoing volunteer opportunities. Tutors guide young adults through English or GED courses, and an after-school program pairs kids with mentors who can help them complete their homework and studies.
Those who are handy around the house and yard can also help the center with maintenance, gardening and painting tasks.
From homebound seniors to preschoolers, Benevilla seeks to reach out to members of the local community. Its senior services include phone wellness checks, grocery shopping and other errands that help take the burden off older adults and enrich their daily lives.
Its intergenerational program connects grandmothers and grandfathers with children attending Wirtzie's Preschool. The pairs complete daily activities together, including games and crafts, which let the children learn vital life skills and social interaction.
Making crafts is a great way for seniors to flex their mental muscles, and donating the completed items lets them put their skills to use for others. Many organizations around Youngtown request handmade goods.
It can also be a fun way for them to try out fresh ideas and alternate designs in a beloved pastime or test out new hobbies without constantly adding objects to their living areas.
Two brothers who wanted to encourage others during the pandemic started one of the largest greeting card drives in Arizona. They send the handmade cards to veterans, cancer patients, essential workers and youths celebrating a birthday. Volunteers decorate the cards with inspirational messages and paint, drawings or stamps.
Besides needing companionship, clerical and driving services, Hospice of the Valley requests quilts, knitted items, stuffed animals and more to help increase comfort and reduce stress among recipients. Seniors with access to a vehicle can also inquire about their flower arrangement program, which creates and delivers uplifting bouquets to those in need.
Crafty seniors can share their love of sewing or crocheting with refugee women through Lutheran Social Services. It holds classes twice a week, and volunteers teach craft skills to the women while offering them friendly socialization as they adjust to their new surroundings.
The organization also runs an online Etsy shop, where the ladies can sell products they've created to support themselves and their families.
Our residents don't have to wait for others to organize a mission; they can take the helm and create their own opportunities.
Crafting doesn't have to be a solo activity. Many individuals want to help others but aren't certain how. By hosting a craft group that makes items for donations, seniors can help like-minded peers find fulfilling ways to use their time and abilities.
Interested individuals can talk with staff members about arranging a scheduled meetup either in their senior living apartment or one of the common areas, depending on the amount of space or work sources their project will require.
Local nonprofits are constantly in need of money and supplies. Seniors can reach out through their network of family, friends, church members and neighbors to collect donations for a favorite charity. Common drives include pet food and cleaning supplies for local animal shelters, toys for children during the holidays or clothing for homeless shelters.
Some groups focus on aiding children, such as Project Smile AZ, which collects art supplies, sports equipment, books and care packets. Others, such as the Youngtown Medical Lending Center, focus on one mission — in this case, loaning necessities to individuals in need of supportive equipment.