“No act of Kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” ~Aesop
The Dali Lama and Desmond Tutu recently collaborated on a book called “The Book of Joy.” In it, they talk about their shared experiences and understanding on how to be joyous even amidst suffering and a changing world. What I gleaned from it was that the essence of joyful living is being grounded in the present and nurturing a heart focused on compassion for others. Thinking about others, empathizing with their concerns, and taking action to help a larger collective helps us to stay grounded in the present and rewires our brain and our focus off of worrying about the future, and channels our energy into creating a better future we desire through our compassionate action.
Local nonprofits desperately need volunteers, not just for the work volunteers do, but for the new life that volunteers bring into an organization. Nonprofits want you – your hands, your heart, and the hope you bring into the organization and give back out into the constituent groups they serve. I surveyed local nonprofits to learn more about the need and benefits of volunteering locally.
Michelle Gold, from Medical Services of America: Home, Health & Hospice, said this about volunteering: “Volunteering to support seniors and family members caring for their loved ones feels good and we learn a lot about one another by sharing in each other’s story.”
Local nonprofits here in Las Vegas resoundingly said “Yes!” they have work they need senior volunteers for. Lisa Tomlin-Kurr from Junior Achievement said, “We cannot provide our programs without volunteers. Annually 95% of our programs are taught by volunteers. We need 800 each year and will need to grow that to 1,200 in the next 2 years to meet the demand for our programs.”
I know some individuals have physical limitations, so I asked about that, also. Gabrielle Bailey, from Baby’s Bounty, said, “Many of our volunteers are retired and like the fact that they can sit to sort and fold the baby clothes.”
If what you see portrayed on the news about the world concerns you at all, I encourage you to channel your concern into more than just donating money to causes – invest your time. Not only will you help the organization, but likely, the act of doing the work will help you to feel more hopeful and positive about the future, also.
If you’d like to learn more about local organizations that responded to my survey and have needs for senior volunteers, we’ve attached the spreadsheet of organizations that got back to us about senior volunteer roles for those of you who might be interested. This information is useful not just for seniors but also for anyone looking for volunteer roles that are flexible or have jobs that don’t require a lot of heavy lifting or work in the evenings.