Letter: She wants to volunteer but…

In response to the May 16 editorial and how hard it is to acquire good volunteers, I find the recruiting process and level of commitment required as obstacles.

The volunteer listings read like a career position. Police checks are usually mandatory plus organizations want your promise to serve – very often – for at least one year without a break. For snowbirds like me, and caring for an elderly parent – I cannot commit to that and would want more flex.

I applied recently to ‘sing’ weekly with patients at a major rehab hospital. But to reach that goal I needed an exhaustive resume citing my musical talents; two, half-hour phone interviews; and was asked to attend a two-day training. Next came an audition and only possibly then, would I be selected!

This is a sweeping generalization but I think newly-retired, youngish seniors like me would love the chance to volunteer – even quite regularly – but perhaps in shorter intervals and without all the hoops!

Jane MacGillivray


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1 comments

This is more than a year after your letter, Jane, but I didn’t need a volunteer then. Have you considered volunteering to do odd jobs for seniors on pensions, to help us stay in our homes? I just need a volunteer occasionally, to take down / put up my curtains so I can wash them, lift out / put back / wash my balcony windows, change a ceiling light bulb, etc.

I can’t safely manage to go up ladder these days, don’t have family or friends to call upon, but can’t afford to pay a handyman either. I would imagine there are a lot of seniors living alone who are in the same boat! You could make a career (all the flex time you need) out of volunteering to do odd jobs for seniors in our own homes!

Note to Editor: I suspect there’s more than me who don’t need more “programs” for seniors – just need a volunteer on a seasonal basis to take down my curtains, wash my windows, etc. Community organizations offer “home maintenance” programs to seniors, but they all want money. We can’t afford to pay for the little jobs that we need done.

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