Tuesday, July 5, 2011

You’re Never Too Old To Volunteer

by Lois Jamieson
As an advocate for volunteerism, I have talked to many people. One refrain I often hear is, “I’m too old.”
Consider this, some of the very best volunteer tutors and mentors at StarShine are in their 70s and 80s. The children and staff welcome older people on campus. Your life experiences and education are priceless in both tutoring and mentoring.
One tutor I know has had a career as a professor at prestigious university teaching macro biology. Others were classroom teachers back in the 1950s and 1960s. There are those with a background in art and mathematics. There are those who don’t have a college education, but are smart and empathetic and love kids.
One outstanding volunteer came to us via a St. Barnabas volunteer. She hesitated volunteering because she was older and had to use a ‘scooter’ to get around. She did just fine and the children loved her, following her around campus as she scooted along.
I started volunteering at Starshine at age 76. During the last 6 years I have managed the library, read to the classes, formed two clubs for girls and worked as liaison between Starshine and St. Barnabas Episcopal Church. I am now 82 and am co-author of this blog and another one, appropriately named Ageless At 80, and I am co-writing two books. This is a wonderful time of my life.
Make yourself and someone else happy by volunteering, whatever your age.
If you enjoyed Lois’ article you’ll love her blog Ageless at 80.
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