Ask someone who volunteers their time and skills to help others why they do it and you will get a variety of answers: some put themselves in the shoes of those in need, while others do it because giving makes them feel useful and needed. Some just say that it feels good to do good. Whatever the reason, giving back to those less fortunate is an important way that we can support our local community.
Seniors especially can reap great benefits when giving back to the community:
- Whether they are retired after years of working or experiencing an emptier home after a lifetime of raising a family, older adults can find a new sense of purpose when they volunteer their time and skill-sets to the less fortunate.
- Many times volunteering involves socializing with other’s donating their time, giving seniors opportunities to meet other people with their same interests. Whether it is during a crafting session making blankets for under-served children or manning an information booth for a local non-profit, conversation and camaraderie abound!
- Volunteering can help keep us active and out of the house! You don’t have to be physically fit enough to help corral animals at an adoption event to benefit; just getting outside and sitting in the fresh air during a fundraiser can improve one’s overall wellbeing. And you don’t have to be ambulatory to help; knitting hats for cancer patients or helping a child learn to read are great ways to give back.
Starting on the first of this year, all Oakmont activity programs launched a new program to focus on providing volunteer opportunities for our residents. Each quarter, activities are offered that support a specific group in need. January through March we helped under-served children and seniors: In San Antonio Heights, residents have been collecting plastic bags and turning them into knitted sleeping mats that provide homeless families and seniors a soft, waterproof place to sleep. In Carmichael and Roseville, residents made beautiful Valentine’s Day cards to deliver to children in the hospital. And residents at Oakmont of Chino Hills created beautiful no-sew blankets for the fire department to give out to children in need.
April through June we will be focusing on helping animals without homes. We can’t wait to see what incredible ideas our residents come up with next!