by Tina Podboy-Laughner, Volunteer & Outreach Manager
As I sit here working from home, looking out at this beautiful day, thinking of the current world situation and our response to it, I remember the Margaret Mead quote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it’s the only thing that ever has.” The many volunteers who give their time to Senior Services and the older adults of Midland County have certainly changed our world! In these strange and difficult times, it is AWE INSPIRING to see how our volunteers have stuck by us. Why would someone put themselves at risk for the older adults of Midland County? I don’t think it is duty driven but rather because they believe so strongly in what we do at Senior Services.
In mid March, anticipating an increased need for both the Meals on Wheels service and volunteer drivers (because so many of our current drivers were in their 70s and 80s, the most vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus), we put out a plea through United Way of Midland County for more volunteers. This resulted in the orientation of 23 potential volunteers ready to continue training if we needed them. And beyond that number, we have had over 70 people inquire about volunteering via our website, phone and email. To our surprise, however, most of our current Meals on Wheels volunteers chose to continue to deliver meals. And other Senior Services volunteers who had to stop their “regular” volunteer job due to reducing services offered to help deliver meals too. I have been truly overwhelmed by the response of our volunteers and our community.
The people who volunteer for Senior Services are indeed a special breed. They have a heart for older adults and a mission to serve. And those of you who answered the call to help also have a need to give back. So what can you do to help during this time?
Here are some ideas to stay engaged AND safe:
- All volunteers: Call/email your older neighbors to see how they are doing – encourage them to call Senior Services if they need help.
- All volunteers: Find and like our Facebook page (Senior Services Midland) and share our posts with your friends.
- All volunteers: As you are calling/emailing/FaceTiming friends and neighbors, talk about your volunteering with Senior Services to spread the word about what you are doing to help the older adults of Midland County.
- Center volunteers: Call/email center participants just to chat to help them maintain important social contact.
When all of this is over, I believe that Senior Services and our community will be in a better place and realize the true value of ALL of our community volunteers!
To our current volunteers, thank you for your dedication to the older adults of Midland County now and in the past.
To those of you who contacted us in recent weeks to help out, thank you for your offer of help! We will be in contact if and when we need your help!