There are many reasons why our volunteers dedicate their time and energy to helping us help others. For some, it’s about connecting with people, sharing stories and experiences. For others, it’s simply about having the time.
Our whole lives we look forward to the end of our working career. We want to stop the busy train and get off at Retirement Station. We dream of this day. But, as we hear time and again, taking a break from our daily routines and the working life is not all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, the first few weeks or months of retirement are blissful, but what about after that? As humans we need to keep moving and feel useful to live a balanced life — at any age.
“Retired is being twice tired, I’ve thought. First tired of working, then tired of not.” ~Richard Armour
One of our long-time volunteers, Dave, told us he began volunteering because he had the time. As a former member of the military he was used to working hard and for a purpose. Dave knew right away that he didn’t like the stand-still life that retirement awarded him. He liked not having the stress associated with work, but he missed the routine and noticed that he had a lot of time available to him. He wanted to be busy again and work with an organization that could really use his help.
Organizations like ours are always in need of volunteers and monetary donations. We have a strong group of people who are dependable, reliable and glad to help. But, the reality is we have a lot of programs! Fulfilling the needs of each department takes volunteers with various skill sets. Someone like Dave who works in our cafe and drives for Meals on Wheels is just as important to us as our volunteers who visit with our clients for afternoon tea. He’s just as important as the person who clicks on the “Donate” button on our website and makes a monetary contribution to our programs. We all have different skill sets, strengths and available time that can be useful to our beloved clientele.
Dave began volunteering as a driver for our Meals on Wheels program and delivered hot meals to our clientele in the area. When his granddaughter came to visit, his volunteering didn’t stop — he brought her along with him. When you deliver meals to a client’s home time after time, you get to know the person well. We always ask how the person is doing and engage in a little small talk before getting in the car and driving to the next house. When Dave’s granddaughter came along on the car rides, he introduced her to the clients and they warmed up to the sight of her then 4 year old face! Now, Dave’s granddaughter is 18 years old and the last time that she came to visit, she went on a Meals on Wheels tour with her grandfather again.
As an organization we are working to create a community within our community. Seniors and persons with disabilities tend to feel isolated and alone. When people like Dave drop off meals to our clients, they’re bringing a sense of community to our clients’ front door. By engaging in conversation and introducing his granddaughter to our clients, Dave is furthering the community and giving our clients a sense of belonging.
Dave as well as all our volunteers are important to our organization — we truly would not be able to operate without them. Thank you.