BE Involved to share your gifts and knowledge to build a stronger community.
One of the greatest gifts that comes to us in retirement is the ability to give more of ourselves to our favorite causes. With more time available to us, we can finally take up those things we put aside to do “one day.” Whether you’re a perennial volunteer or just thinking about what organization you want to help, know that the world becomes a better place when you share your knowledge, experiences, and expertise with others.
Each of us has our unique life experience and events, that may have become ordinary to us over time, can be extraordinary in the retelling of it to someone else. Balancing a checkbook might seem basic to a bookkeeper but to the single mother who never learned this in school, an astute mentor can be a lifesaver. Sharing your love of woodworking might just inspire a career change for someone who has been down on his luck in the employment department. Talking with eighteen-year-olds in the local community about the importance of voting and helping them get registered might change the face of politics in your city, state, and the country.
Our simple acts do make a difference in the world. Mother Teresa wisely said, “Love is not patronizing and charity isn’t about pity, it is about love. Charity and love are the same — with charity you give love, so don’t just give money but reach out your hand instead.”
At Spectrum Retirement, giving back is part of our philosophy, and our team members take it very seriously. In 2015, Spectrum Retirement lost a wonderful member of the team at Crestview Senior Living in Crestwood, Missouri. Ed Heigl had a long history of serving organizations in his community, and after his passing, the Ed Heigl Award became the benchmark of recognition for Spectrum team members who go above and beyond to donate and give of their time. Each winner chooses a favorite organization to be the beneficiary of a monetary donation from Spectrum Retirement.
Perhaps one of our favorite stories is about Katherine Walker, Outreach Coordinator for The Enclave at Anthem Senior Living in Anthem, Arizona. She donated a kidney to save the life of the principal at the school her children attended. Although she didn’t know the woman well, she felt it was her calling to make this sacrifice.
To honor this important philosophy of giving, we make the opportunity for you to reach out your hands a part of daily life. Through our HUGS Volunteers (Humanity United for Good) program, you can help both national and community organizations. Because we love our pets, we coordinate with local animal welfare groups, and you can be involved, too. We believe intergenerational involvement is so important. The benefits of sharing your perspective and life experiences with someone from a younger generation will make them a better person. And, likewise, they have much to teach you, too. Snapchat, anyone?
Want to practice giving closer to home? No problem. We have a variety of opportunities for you to lend a hand right within the community. You might donate your time working in the community bake sale or heading up a community group. Many of our residents take it upon themselves to organize a group of friends to work together to benefit a local charity of their choice. One group recently made “plarn” — plastic bags converted into a yarn-type substance that was donated to a local organization that used it to knit sleeping mats for the homeless. Another group solicited items to be shipped to troops in the Middle East. They gathered the items, boxed and shipped them.
Whether you choose to give of yourself in big or small ways, it’s all vitally important to your greater community. Lory Howlett-Barton, director of development and marketing at Colorado-based Meals on Wheels of Boulder said, “The wheels would fall off of our organization without the valuable time devoted by all of our senior volunteers.” The possibilities are endless for you to make a lasting impact and touch lives in ways you may never even know.