Paul Thiefels is 70 years old and volunteers as a counselor for the Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) at CSSW.
Q & A with Paul Thiefels
How long have you been an RSVP Volunteer?
About 5 years.
What skills do you utilize volunteering that you gained from your professional/ life experiences?
At my former employer, the Department of Human Services, I worked with older adults. At the time, I would refer people to MMAP. I also have computer skills that are needed to enroll clients in Medicaid/Medicare.
What have you enjoyed most about volunteering?
I enjoy the company of other volunteers. It’s good to be around others who are also giving of themselves. I also like being able to help other people in need of the skills I have; it is very satisfying.
What is the significance of programs such as the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) to you?
RSVP provides help to seniors through resource information, referral services, and practical assistance, as well as gives support and encouragement to volunteers. The program is helping seniors in a variety of ways, meeting different needs.
What impact do you feel you are making in your community through volunteering?
MMAP is a volunteer based program, so it needs less financial and staffing resources from the Agency. Additionally, the use of volunteers allows MMAP to offer free services and show that people in the local area are willing to generously donate their time to help others.
What are some of the personal benefits volunteering has made in your life?
It is very satisfying to give of my time, abilities and skills. I like giving back. It makes me feel good to know that I am helping someone with their particular needs. It adds to my own happiness and joy of living.
What advice can you give to other retired seniors who are considering volunteering?
“The satisfaction is receiving more than you give.” Volunteering adds a new dimension to your quality of life and makes you happier with yourself. The more you give, the more you get by making a real contribution to your fellow man.
To Get Started: Call: 734.712.4325 or visit the RSVP website.