Retire-To Volunteering

Host Ed Zinkiewicz uncovers engaging—sometimes surprising, but never dull— volunteer opportunities available to retirees. Interviewing volunteers and volunteer coordinators each week, Ed highlights the meaningful contributions volunteers make and also the rewards volunteers receive. Imagining a retirement that matters starts here. Sign up for Ed's free, weekly newsletter at and get listings of coming episodes.
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Retire-To Volunteering


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Now displaying: April, 2017
Apr 26, 2017

013 Shara Parker—Sunny Day Club, a Respite for Alzheimer’s and Dementia Caregivers

Sunny Day Club—A Co-founder’s Perspective

From her own 13-year experience with her husband’s dementia, Shara Parker co-founded the Sunny Day Club at West End United Methodist Church in Nashville, TN.

Sunny Day Club members get a social outing, physical and mental exercise, and acceptance, as well as new friends. Their caregivers have a breather, a known block of time that they can count on to do whatever they need just to keep the household going—running errands, grocery shopping, resting. The volunteers, who give their time to the club also receive a gift, watching the joy on the faces of the members, which is priceless.

Sunny Day Club meets each Monday from 11:00 A.M. –2 P.M.

For additional information or to volunteer, please contact Erin Racine at 615.321.8500 or

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Apr 19, 2017

012 Wesley Paine–Volunteering at the Parthenon

Being a Docent at the Athens of the South’s Parthenon

Wesley Paine is Director of the Parthenon in Nashville, TN, the world’s only full-sized replica of the ancient Greek temple. An accomplished actress, as well as museum director, Wesley brings dynamic communication skills and a wealth of knowledge to the role of docent, whether it is at the feet of the forty-two foot Athena in the Parthenon or in a lecture hall or clubroom. As a speaker and cultural interpreter for nearly forty years, she has been fueling the enthusiasm and deepening the understanding of children and adults for the ancient civilization that built the original Parthenon and to whom our civilization owes a great debt.

At the Parthenon, volunteers also have the reward of seeing eyes light up with awe and understanding. As docents, they tell visitors about its history both in Nashville and in fifth century B.C. Athens, Greece. Tourists are often surprised to discover yet another treasure in Nashville’s Parthenon: the visual art collection. The docents frequently find they’ve turned casual visitors into appreciative admirers.

If you are interested in volunteering, email The website is

The membership/support organization, The Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park (, is also good place to find out what’s going on.

For more information, check the Facebook page called The Parthenon in Nashville and the one for The Conservancy:

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Apr 12, 2017

011 Ann Harris—Family Reconciliation Center’s Participatory Defense Program

Making a Difference in our Community

Ann Harris brings a strong background from working as Director of the House of Mercy, a residential program for women in recovery and their young children, to her current volunteer role at the Family Reconciliation Center, where she has reconnected with her passion to be part of community programs to improve the lives of families, women, children and youth.

Learning about the world of the court system in Middle Tennessee, Ann is involved in working with families, professionals, and other community people in addressing the critical needs to improve the system, particularly in how courts deal with those who are incarcerated and their families, who also experience negative effects of the imprisonment.

To learn more about the Family Reconciliation Center’s Participatory Defense program or to talk further about volunteer opportunities, please call Ann Harris at 615-356-0012 at the West Nashville location. At the East Nashville location, the Martha O’Bryan Center, contact Eric or Jacola at 615-293-0295.

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Apr 5, 2017

Senior Ride Nashville

Host: Ed Zinkiewicz   Interview with Ed Cole

There to Help When You Don't Have Keys

With a background in city planning focusing on transit matters, Ed Cole knows Nashvilles transportation issues firsthand. He also volunteers now as a board member of the Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee and chair of the Senior Transportation Leadership Coalition, spearheading a new program to provide volunteer drivers for older adults.

The primary goal of Senior Ride Nashville is to harness the energy, vitality, and volunteer spirit of our community to meet the growing mobility needs of our older adult neighbors. Senior Ride Nashville taps into technology to match the need for a trip with the willingness of a volunteer. It offers a way to provide not only a ride, but also caring assistance and friendly conversation.

The service brings together two of Nashville's greatest strengths: a growing and vibrant population of aging adults and a tradition of volunteerism and neighbors helping neighbors. Everyone wins! The older adult maintains the vitality that mobility each day can provide, and the volunteer is a catalyst to meaningful change.

According to Ed, "Now, all we need is a group of worthy and dedicated volunteers to help this Council on Aging initiative shift into high gear."

To volunteer for this new program or to sign-up for the latest news about Senior Ride Nashville, go to the website:

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