Your loved one can BE Involved and share their unique 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, we can finally take up those things we put aside to do “one day.” Your loved one has so much to offer, and they can give of themselves through volunteering. Maybe they are a perennial volunteer or just beginning to think about which organization they want to help. Personal satisfaction and self-worth flourish when your loved one shares their knowledge, experiences, and expertise with others.
Each person has unique life experiences and events that can be valuable when shared with 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. Your loved one might share the gift of woodworking which could 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 loved one’s 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 your loved one to reach out their hands a part of daily life. Through our HUGS Volunteers (Humanity United for Good) program, they can help both national and local community organizations. Because we love pets, we coordinate with local animal welfare groups, and your loved one can be involved, too. We believe intergenerational involvement is so important. The benefits of your loved one sharing perspective and life experiences with someone from a younger generation will make them both grow.
Your loved one can practice giving closer to home, too. No problem. We have a variety of opportunities for them to lend a hand right within the community. They might donate time working in the bake sale or heading up a resident 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 for the troops in the Middle East. They gathered the items, boxed and shipped them.
Whether your loved one chooses to give in big or small ways, it’s all vitally important to their 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 your loved one to make a lasting impact and touch lives in ways they may never even know.