EVERY DAY AT THIS TIME OF YEAR THE MAILBOX IS FULL OF APPEALS FOR HELP. You could just send checks to the many charities sustaining needed services in the community.
Or you could do something different. Something better than giving money. You could put your experience to use helping the most vulnerable among us.
Thanksgiving is the perfect time to celebrate the gifts we have including the abundance of skills and experience we have gathered over a lifetime.
Maryann Touitou did just that and is now about to start her third year as an AmeriCorps Encore member with Boomers Leading Change (BLC).
“It was pure self-interest,” she admits, “but quickly morphed into something far more than that.”
Maryann retired from Red Rocks Community College and was looking for a structured project to get involved in. She applied with Boomers Leading Change and landed her AmeriCorps assignment with Jewish Family Service (JFS). “After looking at other agencies, that seemed the best fit,” she says.
Now she spends about 10 hours a week working with Senior Solutions at JFS.
“I work with the most vulnerable clients to decrease social isolation,” she says. She drives clients to doctor appointments or to get a haircut or whatever they need. Rendering that service builds relationships over time, she says. She is very pleased when clients trust her enough to sometimes ask her to sit in on a doctor visit.
“I’m not a social worker and I don’t have a background in geriatrics. I’m a person who listens and cares. Many people have stories to tell of courage and resilience.” And sometimes she is there just to bring some cheer to a stressful day.
“Service to others is what drives me,” says Maryann. “I feel I am doing something purposeful, something that has an impact on individuals and the community.” Now every day is Thanksgiving day for her.
For those new to our organization or this website: The mission of Boomers Leading Change is to mobilize, connect and empower adults 50 and over to utilize their skills, experience, passion and energy to create positive, lasting social change.
Boomers Leading Change offers two opportunities to serve others: Boomer Volunteers and the AmeriCorps Encore Program. AmeriCorps members receive a small stipend plus other benefits. BLC partners with over 40 host organizations across metro Denver to help ensure you are able to put your skills and experience to work in a way that is best suited for you.
For more information and/or to register for our December 4th Volunteer Information Session please contact Lynette Reiling at 303-426-6637, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org or register via the link below:
– Story by veteran journalist Ray O’Loughlin of Denver