Volunteers are vital to the well being of our society by contributing their time and themselves. Senior citizens can be valuable resources for organizations because of their experience and maturity. Just because one becomes a senior citizen and/or is retired, does not mean that he or she cannot still contribute to our society. Volunteering also has positive effects for the senior by lessening the chance of isolation and may help to alleviate depression in those used to being busy and occupied.
New York, being such a densely populated city never lacks for opportunities for those looking to give. Therefore, this article will discuss various volunteer opportunities for seniors residing in New York City.
One of the most obvious places for seniors to look for volunteer opportunities is in their local houses of worship or organizations dedicated to causes of interest such as Alzheimer’s Disease. The local library can also provide a wealth of information on volunteer opportunities, perhaps even in the library itself. SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) is a program which partners with the SBA (Small Business Association) to connect business owners and executives with entrepreneurs. Volunteers mentor the entrepreneurs and in the New York City work out of several branches of the New York Public Library among other locations. The main New York City office of SCORE is located at 26 Federal Plaza, room 3100. (212) 264 – 4507. It is open on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10 am until 2 pm and on Tuesday and Thursday from 9 am until 4 pm.
The Senior Corps is a volunteer program specifically for adults aged 55 and over. Senior corps allows volunteers to become mentors, companions and friends to others in need. The senior corps is divided into three programs, the foster grandparents program, the senior companions program and the RSVP program.
The foster grandparents program allows seniors to care for and mentor young children, while the senior companions program pairs seniors with individuals who need help with errands such as grocery shopping or to provide friendly visits. RSVP (Retired Senior and Volunteer Program) matches seniors with volunteer opportunities within their local communities based on the senior’s skill set and interests. The volunteer can choose how he or she would like to serve and for how long. New York seniors interested in volunteering for these senior corps programs should contact 311.
Experience Corps is another senior volunteer program. It is for seniors aged 55 and up and challenges them to become involved in their local community, particularly in the school system. Experience corps volunteers tutor and mentor students and initiate projects such as library book drives. To become involved as an experience corps volunteer, seniors should call (212) 614 – 5499.
Also for those seniors looking to immerse themselves the volunteer community as a whole, should think about attending the 2010 National Conference on Volunteering which takes place on June 28 – 30, 2010 in New York City. Attendees will have the opportunity to attend seminars and workshops on volunteering and will be able to connect with fellow volunteers and local agencies.
Taking advantage of any of the above mentioned agencies will allow those interested seniors to find the right volunteer opportunity and continue to make a positive impact on society.