2014 Senior Corps Week Highlighted Volunteers

Raycean Hunter“If I don’t live tomorrow, I’m satisfied with what I did today by helping others.”

Raycean Hunter is 71 and is House Director at House by the Side of the Road.

Q & A with Raycean Hunter

How long have you been an RSVP Volunteer?
6 years.

What skills do you utilize volunteering that you gained from your professional/ life experiences?
My personality and willingness to help people do better.

 What have you enjoyed most about volunteering?
I enjoy feeling the satisfaction of helping someone and seeing the satisfaction of someone in need getting help.

 What impact do you feel you are making in your community through volunteering?
House by the Side of the Road is giving people in the community who care for those in need a chance to give back. Small businesses and local organizations are collaborating to help the needy by donating services and goods. It is good to know that there are so many giving people in our community.

What are some of the personal benefits volunteering has had in your life?
I have a good feeling of personal satisfaction from helping others on a daily basis.

What is the significance of programs such as the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) to you?
RSVP gives Seniors a chance to have a fulfilling life and get involved in the community, instead of sitting at home wilting away.

What advice can you give to other retired seniors who are considering volunteering?
Join RSVP, get involved, stay active, and do something good for yourself and others.

 

Lola“I look forward to the opportunity to make new friends through volunteering.”

Lola is 91 and volunteers as an RSVP Office Assistant, as well as helping out at the Ypsilanti Township Senior Center. 

Q & A with Lola Ashby

How long have you been an RSVP Volunteer?
12 years.

What skills do you utilize volunteering that you gained from your professional/ life experiences?
My sense of responsibility and I am very detailed oriented.

What have you enjoyed most about volunteering?
I enjoy working with other volunteers.

What impact do you feel you are making in your community through volunteering?
It is necessary, in the scheme of things, to use what we have to give back to the community.

What are some of the personal benefits volunteering has made in your life?
I have a sense of being needed even while accomplishing small things. Volunteering also allows me to develop new friendships.

What is the significance of programs such as the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) to you?
RSVP provides a place to go for advice, help, and friendships.

What advice can you give to other retired seniors who are considering volunteering?
Just do it. You will be surprised at what volunteering has to offer. It keeps you in touch with other seniors.

 

Linda Klimach“I love being an RSVP volunteer as it gives me opportunities to give back to our community where I have been so blessed.”

Linda is 66 and works as a Medicare/Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) Counselor, Tax Preparer, RSVP Office Assistant, and a Mass Market Fiction Specialist & Bookshop Supervisor at the Ann Arbor District Library.

Q & A with Linda Klimach

How long have you been an RSVP Volunteer?
Almost 4 years.

What skills do you utilize volunteering that you gained from your professional/ life experiences?
At the library and through being an office assistant, my organizational skills, working in the Tax and MMAP programs at CSSW, my analytical skills.

What have you enjoyed most about volunteering?
The opportunity to assist community needs.

What is the significance of programs such as the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) to you?
Programs like RSVP provide structure for identifying opportunities to volunteer.

What impact do you feel you are making in your community through volunteering?
Through the tax program, I am assisting low income seniors in getting Home Heating and Homestead Property credits. While volunteering at MMAP, I assist seniors in navigating Medicare and low income clients in getting Medicaid.

What are some of the personal benefits volunteering has had in your life?
I have made new friends and learned about Medicare for myself and friends.

What advice can you give to other retired seniors who are considering volunteering?
Volunteering is definitely a good thing to do and they should contact RSVP.

 

Paul Thiefles“Volunteering helps me go beyond myself.”

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.

 

Carol Spencer“After working 30 years for a salary, now I’m doing what I really want to do.”

Carol Spencer is 67 and volunteers as a Meal Deliverer/Sorter/Organizer at Ann Arbor Meals and Wheels. She also helps at House by the Side of the Road.


Q & A with Carol Spencer

How long have you been an RSVP Volunteer?
9 years.


What skills do you utilize volunteering that you gained from your professional/ life experiences?
I’m very organized.

What have you enjoyed most about volunteering?
It has been a magnificent experience for me to get to know people. Also, it is very humbling to see the circumstances people in our area live in.

What impact do you feel you are making in your community through volunteering?
I’m helping one person at a time. It is reassuring for people to know that I sincerely care about their well being. Also, the organizational structure of volunteering has given me the opportunity to learn how to go out on my own and help others.

What are some of the personal benefits volunteering has had in your life?
Giving back has a natural side effect of feeling good. Volunteering is very enriching and has allowed me to gain more patience when working with others. My life would be empty if I didn’t give back.

What is the significance of programs such as the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) to you?
It is nice to have a focus like RSVP to give lonely seniors who need encouragement options for getting out and becoming active in the community. Programs that help seniors are essential to a functional society.

What advice can you give to other retired seniors who are considering volunteering?
Go for it! Seniors who are unsure can always mentor with someone else who is already volunteering.

Effective Tuesday, 3/24/20, CSSW’s main office will be closed until further notice, but many services will be provided remotely.   Read More
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