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Sometimes just a little of your time is the greatest gift

Recently I read a letter in the "Hints from Heloise" column of the local paper.  A West Virginia senior of 84 wrote in to say she'd just celebrated her birthday and she was looking at her gifts.  Yes, they were nice and thoughtful, but they weren't what she really needed.  She said, "the flowers die, and the hand lotion and perfume will last forever!  What I need is an hour of your time.  Shovel the snow, fix a leaky faucet, help me with shopping, adjust the TV, take me somewhere I can't easily get to on my own".   She also acknowledges it's "her fault.  When I'm asked what I want for my birthday I clam up.  I just can't ask for help."  

As someone who has spent the last several years downsizing her life, I couldn't agree more.  I don't need another thing, I'm trying to get rid of things!  Many seniors are too proud to ask for help, or they are too isolated with no one to ask.  We have two nonprofit partners within our RSVP focus areas that recruit volunteers to help in various ways to isolated seniors or low-income individuals.  

CDM Services sponsors the Elder Friends program offering volunteers the opportunity to reach out to an isolated elder through one-on-one visits.  Volunteers make a commitment to visit at least four times a month for a year.  What a difference that could make to someone who has no one to talk to or look forward to seeing!

Volunteer Chore Services provides volunteers to drive elderly or low-income individuals to medical appointments or other life necessary trips.  Mileage reimbursements are provided and drivers receive training and information on safe driving and customer service.  

If either of those opportunities sound like something you might enjoy fill out an application on our website or call Jo at 360-735-3690 to become an RSVP volunteer.

Even if you aren't able to volunteer right now, how about giving an hour or two of your time to someone who has enough stuff but would welcome a little help or even a phone call just to chat.  The ideas are truly endless, remember the gift of your time is priceless!  

The Author

Marcia Hale

120 NE 136th AveSuite 215Vancouver, WA98684PH 360.694.6577FAX 360.694.6716
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