May 24th, 2012

volunteeringGrandma Sue visited the “Can Do”Kids in their classroom the other day. Miss Pat invited her to come and speak about volunteering.

“Good Morning, boys and girls,” said Grandma Sue, “Most of you know me as Miss Sue, the Director of the “Can Do” Community Center. I am here today to ask you to think about volunteering with senior citizens in our neighborhood.”

Before she could continue speaking, Eulyn raised her hand. Miss Sue called on her and Eulyn said, “What’s volunteering?” Miss Sue could see by the looks on some of the other children’s faces that she needed to explain volunteering. Eulyn was not the only one who wasn’t sure what volunteering was all about.

“Volunteering is when you offer to do something for someone that needs help. You don’t have to do it, you choose to help because you want to help. You don’t get paid to help. You help during your free time,” said Miss Sue.

Willie raised his hand and said,”My grandma is a senior citizen and I help her all the time. Does that count?” Miss Sue smiled, ” It is nice that you help your grandma, and I am sure she appreciates it, but I am talking about helping those seniors who are not your relatives, you may or may not know them. “

Anne raised her hand next,”I don’t think my mom will let me go to a stranger’s house to help them out.” Miss Sue nodded, “Yes, we need to be safe. That is why we have come up with ways for children to be safe while volunteering.

Here are some of the volunteering activities you can do as a group, with a staff person from the Center as your group leader or at the Center with senior citizens:

  • You can be part of a group that visits seniors at the local senior residence. You can do friendly visiting. Seniors get lonely and would love a visit from a young person for an hour or so once a month.
  • There are seniors who want to learn the computer, but don’t have family to teach them and can’t afford to take lessons. If you can spare 45 minutes, once a week, you can sit with at senior at one of the Center computers and teach him or her computer basics, maybe even how to email and use the Internet.
  • You can join a yard work group, led by Mr. Dooley. Once a month you will go as a group to a senior’s house to help with yard work chores during the spring and fall.

If you think you are interesting in volunteering, please see me after class and I will tell you more about volunteer opportunities with seniors.” With that, Miss Sue thanked the children for paying attention and thanked Miss Pat for allowing her to speak with the class. Then she went outside the class to sit at a desk that had a big sign on it that read, “Sign up here for volunteering at the Community Center.”

Miss Pat gave the children some time to discuss the idea of volunteering. After class some of the “Can Dos” signed up for volunteering. Anne and Kathy, Nellie and Maria, Jay and Yundi signed up for friendly visiting at the senior residence.

Orrie signed up to teach seniors how to use computers and so did Arthur J. Hector, Willie, Eulyn and Bobby signed up to be on Mr. Dooley’s team and do yard work.

After their first volunteering session, each of the “Can Dos”who participated, gave a report to the class. It seems that each of the volunteers felt good about volunteering. The seniors really appreciated having them and the “Can Dos” got to see just how much they could help people by volunteering.

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