National Volunteer Week, April 17th -23rd, is an opportunity to recognize the power of volunteers to tackle society’s greatest challenges, build stronger communities and be a force that transforms the world.
Volunteers are the foundation of the Council on Aging. Our volunteers often work with our staff, donating their time and effort to improve the lives of Central Oregon seniors in Bend, Sisters, La Pine, Madras, Prineville and Redmond. At each location they do what needs to be done, from meal prep to meal delivery, community dining setup and check-in, and everything in between.
Five Great Reasons to Volunteer!
1. You can make a difference in the world around you
Almost everyone says they want to make the world a better place, but volunteers are taking concrete actions to do just that. Whether it’s tutoring seniors, helping at a fundraising event, writing letters in support of seniors with local and state officials, or any number of other crucial tasks volunteers perform for the Council on Aging, volunteering lets you truly impact the world and your Central Oregon community in a positive way.
2. Connect with Others
Volunteering is so vital is that it provides you the opportunity to connect with other people. Often, the service you perform while volunteering allows you to meet new people that you may not have met otherwise. Usually, these individuals have something in common with you and you can bond over the important work you are doing. This can lead to new friendships and even job opportunities since you are constantly meeting, interacting, and networking with new people.
3. You Get to Learn New Things
Volunteerism also gives you the chance to learn new things. Most likely, you’ll be working in a new capacity that is unfamiliar to you. This will allow you to gain new skills and grow as a person. For example, you may help with planning a large event, provide comfort to an elderly individual, deliver meals, or call a lonely senior. Between the people you are serving, the other volunteers you are working with, and the individuals working at the nonprofit you are helping, there are a lot of opportunities for growth. This is especially helpful in building your relationship and communication skills.
4. You Help Us
Volunteering is critical to our ability to reach and serve at risk seniors in Central Oregon. We have limited budgets and try to use as much money as possible to carry out our mission. That restricts how many employees we can hire, so we rely on volunteers to fill the gap and perform the rest of the vital work that needs to be done.
5. It’s Good for You!
The importance of volunteering doesn’t just involve the work you are doing to make the world a better place. It’s also important because it’s good for you! Research shows that volunteering is beneficial for both your body and mind. This is because many volunteer opportunities involve physical activity, which helps you get your body moving and can lead to lower blood pressure, along with other health benefits. Volunteering can also lead to reduced levels of stress, help deal with anxiety, improve your self-confidence, and help to make you happier overall. While these benefits are a nice bonus, your main reason for volunteering should always be to help make the world a better place.
Ready to Help Seniors in Need?
Would you like to make in the lives of seniors across the tri-county? If you are fully vaccinated and would like to be a volunteer, you’ll find the volunteer interest form on our website or contact Marianne McClure, volunteer manager at firstname.lastname@example.org or 541.527.0541. We have both ongoing roles and ones that can be done every so often to fit any schedule.
Right now we need volunteers for all roles in Bend. In Sisters, we’re looking for help with Meals on Wheels and community dining programs. There are also openings in La Pine for Meals on Wheels support.
Our volunteer opportunities include:
- Administrative & office support
- Advisory Council
- Meals on Wheels delivery
- Community Dining
- Medicare counseling
- Ad Hoc projects
- Meal Prep
- Caring Connections
If you are already a CoA volunteer, we are grateful for your service.