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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 retire-to.com and get listings of coming episodes.
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Jul 19, 2017

025 Jacquie Sojourner–Archiving

Church Archive and History—A Unique Passion Fulfilled

Jacquie Sojourner, a graduate of Drew University’s college and graduate school, has a passion for history. Fulfilling that, she is in charge of West End United Methodist Church’s Archives and History Committee. She and other volunteers on the committee collect, preserve, and display materials of the church and beyond, including Vanderbilt University and the Tennessee Conference of The United Methodist Church. Keeping these records provides others with a window into the past, which can light the future.

The resources include not only the written word, but also visual, pictorial, and digital material. Genealogy records, including wedding and baptism information from members of the church, are also part of the collection. On the horizon for celebrating the church’s 150th anniversary is audiovisual material, possibly a film, as well as a book. Finding creative ways to bring the past forward to delight others is part of the fun of this volunteer job.

Storing and restoring historical information is a service many churches, schools, civic groups, and other organizations would greatly appreciate from a volunteer.

For more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s free Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

Jul 12, 2017

024 Bob Day–Parthenon Docent

Serving as an Ambassador—Educating Visitors

As one of Nashville’s ambassadors, Bob Day loves his “work.” His volunteer job takes him and his wife to the museum as docents. Having participated in the docent program training, the two of them now serve as ambassadors promoting awareness and providing education about the Parthenon, Nashville’s full-scale replica of the ancient Greek temple. The couple have been so inspired about what they have learned that they have traveled to Greece and Italy to see firsthand places and objects de art previously they only enjoyed from a far!

Docents play a vital role in offering quality programming to Nashville’s visitors. They are teachers, guides, givers of directions, and public relations experts. The Parthenon program, which started in September 1998, is now in its third decade. Docents there are asked to work four to eight hours a month and commit to one year in various volunteer duties.

Bob reminds everyone. “There is a museum out there looking for you!”

Twice a year, the Parthenon offers training classes. To obtain further information and participate in this fascinating program, contact the Parthenon (info@parthenon.org or 615-862-8431). Or reach out to a museum of interest to you in your area.

For more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s free Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

Jul 5, 2017

023 Karen Stevens–Fundraising Events

Event Coordinator—aka Fundraising Extraordinaire and Community Volunteer

Not everyone enjoys coordinating events, but Karen Stevens does. From an early age organizing a party seemed to be in her DNA. Her earliest memory, around the age of six, was creating her mother’s birthday party at one of her mother’s friend’s home and wrapping presents (which she found in her mother’s vanity drawer) as birthday gifts. On another occasion, realizing her younger sister didn’t have an “appropriate” birthday cake, she created a drum cake for her party. Who would have ever guessed these would be preparation for her passion?

Karen is no stranger to the non-profit world. Helping organizations increase revenue is her way of making a difference. From Vanderbilt University School of Nursing to Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Magdalene, Habitat for Humanity, Siloam Family Health Center, Room in the Inn, Nations Ministry Center, Luke 14:12, and Music for the Soul, she has helped increase their financial support by “throwing a party”!

The one-hour free-ask event is a favorite. When CEOs, boards of directors, and volunteers embrace the concept, the work begins. Karen guides them through a series of steps, coordinates data keeping, and manages venue details. She creates a great opportunity for organizations—many of which don’t have a development person on staff—not only to increase revenue and grow their volunteer base, but also to educate guests about the nonprofit’s mission and impact in the community. Needless to say—a win/win for everyone!

For Karen, volunteering in the community is the norm. No perimeters. Seeing a need is the only criteria. No excuse for not having enough to keep busy. What groups might just be waiting for you? What’s your passion? What new experience would you like try? Visit Hands On Nashville’s (whose tag line is “Be the Change. Volunteer”) website: www.hon.org for ideas.

See you in the community…volunteering!

For more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s free Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

Jun 28, 2017

022 Chuck Jaeger—Docent with Nashville Symphony

Introducing Guests to the Schermerhorn Center

Since 2009 Chuck Yaeger has volunteered as a docent at the Nashville Symphony’s home, the Schermerhorn Center. He is quick to say that he and other docents are introducing guests to the building! Whether a passionate symphony lover or simply a curious tourist, visitors love hearing about the history of the building and its creation. Docents are asked to keep their tour to an hour although it could easily last three, given the volume of questions from the enthusiastic guests.

The Nashville Symphony offers a wide variety of opportunities to engage volunteers from Nashville and its surrounding communities. If you would like to support the performing arts through volunteer service, they would like to partner with you. Nashville Symphony volunteers can customize their schedules to fit their lifestyles.

For more information, visit their website www.nashvillesymphony.org where you will find the “support” tab …click, and you’ll find “volunteer”…click, and variety of opportunities and a volunteer form will be available.

For more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s free Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

Jun 21, 2017

021 Courtney Sobieralski—Thistle Farms and the Café

Thistle Stop Café—Built By and For the Community

Courtney Sobieralski, Director of the Thistle Stop Café, enjoys talking about this extraordinary café staffed by the women of Thistle Farms, as well as volunteers from the Nashville area. Anyone who walks through the doors for a bite of nourishment, a cup of tea or coffee, or simply a brief respite, discovers a home. The Thistle Farms community witnesses to the truth that in the end, love is more powerful than all other forces, especially those that drive women to the street.

A sanctuary of healing for women survivors of abuse, addiction, trafficking, and prostitution, the Thistle Farms community of survivors, advocates, employees, interns, volunteers, and friends from all across the world are young and old, women and men. United in their desire to transform a culture that still allows human beings to be bought and sold, they believe that in the end, love is the strongest force for change in the world.

The Thistle Stop Café operates under the guiding principles of hospitality, healing, story, and chado (translated from Japanese as “The Way of Tea”). Volunteers are welcome.

Discover more at the website: www.thistlefarms.org. Or visit the Facebook pages: www.facebook.com/ThistleFarms and www.facebook.com/ThistleStopCafe. Check out the menu too and “do lunch” with a friend or simply take a break at the café.

For more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s free Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

Jun 14, 2017

020 Bill Farris—Comforting the Littlest

Children’s Hospital Needs Grandfathers to “Read”

Bill Farris is no stranger to Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt in Nashville, Tennessee. In fact seven years ago he was a regular visitor to see his grandson. It was then Bill began his “reading.” Today he continues comforting children in the neo-natal intensive care unit of the same hospital by holding, rocking, reading, telling stories of his youth, and humming (no singing—just humming) to babies—a blessing to him, as well.

Bill feels this volunteer activity is his way of helping the parents and grandparents who are working and not able to be there, as well as the nurses who are continuously busy as they help all their charges. Needless to say, volunteers like Bill are a welcome addition to the care of these littlest ones.

As Bill reminds us, hospitals are everywhere and most likely readily awaiting new volunteers!

For additional information about Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital and to learn more about their volunteer opportunities, visit www.childrenshospital.vanderbilt.org/uploads/documents/Volunteer_Opportunities_Spring_2017.pdf

For more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s free Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

Jun 7, 2017

019 Fern Richie–Respite for Dementia Caregivers

Sunny Day Club—A Volunteer’s Perspective

Fern Richie, a Sunny Day Club volunteer buddy, enthusiastically looks forward to Mondays at West End United Methodist Church in Nashville, Tennessee. The club provides a special place for older adults, especially those who are experiencing memory loss, to enjoy caring companionship and mental stimulation. Being able to bring a loved one to the Sunny Day Club also gives caregivers a period of respite, enabling them to care for their own needs. Fern and other volunteers willingly give their time and love and are rewarded as they see the joy on the faces of the members and the thanks of the caregivers.

Recently retired, Fern (DSN, APRN-BC) has had a meaningful career as a college professor and psychotherapist. Her passion was, and is, helping young women whose lives have been affected by the intersection of mental illness, drug addiction, sexual abuse, poverty, and racism. Her volunteer work with the Sunny Day Club is an extension of her long line of volunteering over the years.

For more information about volunteering with the Sunny Day Club, please contact Erin Racine at 615.321.8500 or eracine@westendumc.org.

For more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s free Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

May 31, 2017

018 Margaret Smith—Volunteering with Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary

Owl’s Hill Nature Sanctuary—Spreading an Appreciation and Enjoyment of Nature

Since childhood Margaret Smith has cherished nature. Her maternal grandmother lived on the Cumberland River bluffs and introduced her to the world of nature through flowers and animals and the habitat they need to live. Discussions and breakfasts on the bluffs with her grandmother proved to be the instrumental in Margaret’s love of nature.

After college Margaret taught elementary school, later married, had two children and went to graduate school in 1980. She graduated with a doctorate and maintained a practice in psychology for 26 years. After taking her grandchildren to enjoy the nature sanctuary’s “hot chocolate tour,” she started volunteering at Owl's Hill. Later Margaret enrolled in Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency’s naturalist program and now is known as a Master Naturalist.

Owl’s Hill is waiting to be discovered by nature lovers as well as those who haven’t yet discovered they are! The staff is eager to share their awareness, knowledge, and skill. With many environmental-education programs offered for all ages, volunteers are especially important.

To learn more about volunteering at Owl’s Hill, visit www.owlshill.org.

For more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s free Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

May 24, 2017

017 Jean Gauld-Jaeger—Volunteering as a Plein Air Artist

Plein Air Painters—Dedicated to Conservation and Preservation

After twenty-five years as Director of the Office of Patient Affairs at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Jean Gauld-Jaeger retired and pursued her interest in fine art. Ever the student, she has studied painting with well-respected portrait artists Michael Shane Neal, Roger Brown, Jason Saunders, Dawn Whitelaw and many others. But she is also a respected teacher, instructing others individually and through group painting classes and workshops in both her studio and other locations.

As a volunteer in The Chestnut Group, Jean channels her passion for painting into preservation of the beauty she sees. She and the other group members are plein air artists, leaving behind the four walls of their studios to paint and draw in open air. They capture the beauty of the Tennessee landscape in their artwork and sell it to raise funds to protect historical and natural sites in the state.

A recipient of several awards for her portraits and landscapes, which are on display in numerous galleries in Middle Tennessee, Jean is also past president of The Chestnut Group and is especially proud of the fact that a portion of funds earned from the sale of plein air artwork, inspired by the region’s scenic richness, is made available to organizations that share a common vision: To preserve fragile local historic properties and threatened environments—habitats, farmland, and natural areas.

More information about volunteering with The Chestnut Group is on their website: http://chestnutgroup.org. Jean’s information can be found on her website: http://artbyjaeger.com.

For more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s free Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

May 17, 2017

016 Taylor Davenport—Volunteering with Project Transformation

Purposeful Ministry—Project Transformation

As a year-round Fellow with Project Transformation Tennessee, Taylor Davenport has been inspired by the many volunteers (homework helpers, encouragers, and mentors) in the program. Project Transformation’s mission is three-fold: To engage young adults, like Taylor, in purposeful ministry and leadership, to support underserved children and families, and to connect churches to communities in need. As one of the young adult interns, Taylor works with volunteers to provide authentic, hands-on, high-quality programs for children and youth both during the summer and the school year.

In addition to leading the children and youth, Taylor and the other interns also value learning from them, going the extra mile with home visits to gain a deeper understanding of the dynamics of the families.

A 2015 graduate of the University of Mississippi with a BS in Integrated Marketing Communications, Taylor is currently pursuing her Masters of Education in Nonprofit Leadership at Belmont University. When she's not coordinating volunteers, preparing marketing material, or studying, she enjoys cheering on the Ole Miss Rebels.

Potential Project Transformation volunteers can contact Taylor at davenport@pttennessee.org or 615-810-9620. Additional information can be found at the Project Transformation’s website www.pttennessee.org.

For more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s free Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

May 10, 2017

015 Lori Bumgarner—Volunteering with Senior Olympics

Senior Olympics—Lifetime of Sports

Lori Bumgarner is the owner of paNASH, a passion and career coaching service. Certified both as life coach and a transformational coach, she works with people going through life and career transitions, helping them discover and pursue their passions.

Author of the Amazon #1 bestselling book, Advance Your Image, Lori has been featured in The Wall Street Journal’s blog. She is also a regular contributor to The Daily Positive and Arianna Huffington’s Thrive Global.

Finding her niche as a volunteer in the Senior Olympics has proven to be a perfect match, given her love for sports and her desire to relate to older adults. Her personal mission is to boldly pursue her passions and purpose, and to teach, encourage, and inspire others to do the same, resulting in lives overflowing with joy, peace, and fulfillment.

You can visit Lori’s web site at www.yourpassioninlife.com or email her directly at lorib@yourpassioninlife.com. To find out more about the Senior Olympics programs and volunteer opportunities, visit the National Senior Games Association website: www.NSGA.com. You will be able to find specific information for your state.

For more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s free Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

May 3, 2017

014 Grace Smith–Volunteering with Middle Tennessee Council on Aging

The Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee—Trusted Leader and Catalyst

A long-time volunteer of the Council on Aging (COA), as Executive Director Grace Smith brings more than two decades of experience in senior advocacy. A licensed master social worker and a program manager for the Meharry Consortium Geriatric Education Center, she also sat on the board of the National Association for Geriatric Education and led the Mental Health Association’s geriatric outreach and caregiver support programs. She put that experience to work again as a volunteer, serving as chair of the COA Leadership Council and most recently as vice-president of its board.

Grace’s interests and skills are well-matched with COA’s mission: To strive to ensure that the community values, honors, and supports older adults and caregivers by addressing unmet needs through information, advocacy, and education, and by being a catalyst for comprehensive solutions.

According to Grace, "This is an exciting time of growth in the greater Nashville area, and the COA will continue to be a trusted leader in addressing the unmet needs of seniors and caregivers, including transportation and easily accessible resource information." For specific information about COA’s work on transportation, listen to Ed Cole’s interview (“010 Senior Ride Nashville”) for additional volunteer opportunities.

For more information about the various volunteer possibilities through the Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee, visit their website www.coamidtn.org and/or email info@coamidtn.org. For more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s free Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

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 eracine@westendumc.org.

To find out more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter. Be sure and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

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 info@parthenon.org. The website is www.nashville.gov/parthenon.

The membership/support organization, The Conservancy for the Parthenon and Centennial Park (www.conservancyonline.com), 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: www.facebook.com/conservancynash.

To find out more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter. Be sure and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

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.

To find out more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter. Be sure and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

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: http://bit.ly/seniorridenashville.

To find out more about coming podcasts, sign up for the Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter. Be sure and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

Mar 29, 2017

Volunteering to be outdoors is just what some retirees need!

Are you longing for your “nature connection”? There’s still time for you, a retiree, to check this off your bucket list! Volunteer coordinator, Samuel Bowman, is one of the all-star, behind-the-scene team of administrators who make sure all of Wilderness Awareness programs run smoothly and effectively with lots of volunteer helpers.

Sam joined the Wilderness Awareness School (WAS) staff in 2012 after completing the Anake Outdoor School and Anake Leadership Program. He grew up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of South Western Virginia on his family's dairy farm. From solo wanderings on the farm's 600 acres to working on the farm with the family, Sam discovered a connection and respect for the land and all that it supports. He spent many summers participating in, leading and directing summer camps, including his home church camp in Virginia and a disability camp in Iowa.

Along the way Sam learned while having a blast camping, rock climbing, canoeing, horseback riding, white water rafting and whatever else campers were interested in doing. Sam graduated from Bridgewater College with a degree in philosophy and religion. While there, he continued his exploration of the world by spending a semester in India and also visiting Europe, the Middle East, Nigeria, and the Caribbean. With these adventures Sam added to his understanding of how others live and view the world.

Sam loves working with his hands. He enjoys woodworking and teaching classes of wheel-thrown pottery and animal butchering. He feels blessed to now be in a community where all of his passions and interests can be fed, used, and valued.

For additional information: wildernessawareness.org. Or search for camps in your area.

To explore the “great outdoors” of the retirement landscape, sign up for Ed’s Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter. Be sure and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

 

Mar 22, 2017

The Nashville Adult Literacy Council teaches 1700 adults each year to read and succeed

Through the eyes of Jo-Ann Heidenreich the Nashville Adult Literacy (NALC) seems like a moveable feast! After working as a teacher and administrator for Metropolitan Davidson County Schools for thirty years, Jo-Ann began a second career as an educational consultant in more than twelve states including Tennessee. Now retired, she is volunteering at NALC—a natural choice with her previous background.

The Nashville Adult Literacy Council provides free services to their learners (both adult citizens and adult immigrants), offering classes for basic literacy (reading and writing), classes in English-language basics, GED classes at probation and parole offices, citizenship classes to prepare learners for the exam, and workplace literacy classes tailored to individual employer needs. Volunteers are crucial to the success of the program.

To learn more about volunteering with the Nashville Adult Literacy Council, call 615-298-8060, email info@nashvilleliteracy.org, or visit their website nashvilleliteracy.org.

To find out more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter. Be sure and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

Mar 15, 2017

You know Ed Zinkiewicz! The host of this podcast series on volunteering, he practices what he preaches. On most Sunday afternoons, he’s at a nursing home—spooning the residents! They love it—so does he! Ed has sung and played spoons with a bluegrass band for more than 35 years. For the past 6 years, the group has been taking their gospel sing-alongs to a very appreciative audience. Watching residents who can no longer talk easily sing makes it easy for him to keep volunteering week after week. “I see their joy, and I have found joy too!” says Ed.

Ed retired from successful 40-year career as a software engineer and took his own advice: He retired to a new passion of helping nearly and newly retired persons find joy, keep up, and make friends. His three-book Retire-To series focuses on social relationships, health and wellness, and finding fulfillment after retirement: Retire to Play and Purpose, Retire to a Better You, and Retire to Great Friendships. Additionally, Ed is a speaker and workshop facilitator on issues related to life transitions, especially around retirement.

Hosting this podcast series has been a particular delight for Ed. “I love hearing so many people talk about the ways they are re-engaging with life and giving back to others. Volunteers are inspiring! What a force for good in the world they are!” For more about Ed’s work, go to retire-to.com.

To find out more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter. Be sure and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

 

Mar 8, 2017

It didn’t take Bill Farris long to find his second profession. The day after retiring from the banking business, he signed on the “dotted line” as a volunteer at Nashville Tools for Schools. Following his passion to give back to the community and to use his skills with hammer and nail, Bill volunteers three days a week with a like-minded group committed to small maintenance and construction projects within our public schools. 

Nashville Tools for Schools projects range from building desks and installing shelving to other light construction jobs. The volunteer organization exists to provide the best possible learning environment for the young people and to demonstrate the community’s dedication to the educational system. Their projects empower school children, protect school resources, and save money!

Bill says, "We want to give each and every student in the Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools the best education possible. That means each and every student deserves the proper supplies and equipment needed for a quality education."

Over the years these volunteers have completed more than 900 projects in more than 95 school facilities. Former Mayor Karl Dean acknowledged these volunteers’ efforts by saying, “Thank you for your organization’s commitment to our public schools. The efforts of Nashville Tools for Schools are far reaching, impacting future generations of students. This type of public-private partnership is successful because of those who lead the effort. Thank you for your leadership.”

 For more information call 615.442.6837(NTFS) and/or visit nashvilletoolsforschools.com.

To find out more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter. Be sure and visit retiretovolunteering.com.


Mar 1, 2017

Volunteering to play golf is the ideal retirement activity for Everett

With the “eyes” of Everett Davis, David Meador (blind since 19 years of age) has not only played golf, but also won major national championships!

Everett, an avid golfer, enjoys both the game and helping those who share his passion but who can’t see the ball. Understandably, a limited-sight player requires help driving on the course and being directed to the tee, not to mention assistance lining up for a putt or approach shot. Having a sighted volunteer keeps the blind player in the game!

Most of the USGA rules apply to golfing for the blind, but, for example, the grounding of the golfer’s club in the sand trap and the line-of-putt have different rules. Everett points out that volunteers must know the game as well as the rules as well as be in good physical shape. Currently he serves as Handicap Chairman for the United States Blind Golf Association, as well as a member of the Election and the Hall of Fame committees.

The United States Blind Golf Association is an organization for individuals with visual impairments to learn, play, and even compete in the game of golf. Through youth and adult clinics and championship tournaments, the Association brings skills, values, and opportunities that make a lifelong difference. Their tagline: “You don’t have to see it, to tee it!”

To learn more about US Blind Golf Association, visit their website: www.usblindgolf.com. Information about the International Blind Golf Association can be found on their website: www.internationalblindgolf.com.

As mentioned in this episode, Ed Zinkiewicz will be glad to connect you with Everett if you want more detail from someone who has done this. Just contact Ed at edz@retire-to.com.

To find out more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter. Be sure and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

 

Feb 22, 2017

For seniors with transportation-access issues, finding ways to make essential trips for things like groceries, medical appointments, and prescription refills can be daunting. If they live in Blount County, however, they have help.

 

Joani Shaver serves as Director of Blount County Office on Aging. Passionate about seniors, Joani has special concern for those who are still ambulatory, but don’t drive. She recognizes the burden transportation issues impose. Smiles: Neighbors Driving Neighbors is a welcome answer.

 

SMiles is not a form of public transportation. Instead, it is a membership program ($25 annual fee) where seniors are able to purchase a needed service for a reasonable price (a designated number of $6 round-trip rides, ordered in advance).

 

The program relies on Blount County’s volunteers to provide its service. People are recruited, screened, and trained before being accepted as SMiles drivers. They use their own vehicles to provide rides and can receive either gas reimbursement or IRS tax-deduction documentation, if preferred. A Transportation Manager supervises day-to-day operations of the program, which is housed at Blount County Community Action Agency’s Office on Aging.

 

Love and appreciation of the elderly is Joani Shaver’s mantra…and the standard for the volunteers. SMiles is also lots of fun. In fact the volunteers who began in 2013 are still volunteering. What a compliment to any program!

 

To find out about volunteer commitment and requirements, visit the SMiles website www.blountcaa.org/volunteer. Or call 865-983-8411 x 26 to set an appointment to talk further about volunteering. You can also download the volunteer application and mail, or fax the completed application to their office: Blount County Community Action Agency, 3509 Tuckaleechee Pike, Maryville, TN 37803. If you live outside Blount County, check with your local council or office on aging for similar programs.

To find out more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter. Be sure and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

 

 

Feb 15, 2017

Brian McCaffrey Makes Personal Playlists for Dementia and Alzheimer's Patients

After thirty years of ministry as a Lutheran (ELCA) chaplain, recently retired Brian McCaffrey moved with his wife, Helen, and two cats to St. Paul, Minnesota. Eager to follow his interest in the relationship between aging and spiritual development, he now volunteers at Lyngblomsten Care Facility in St. Paul.

Brian helps in the facility’s Music and Memory Program, which creates and provides personalized playlists using iPods and similar digital audio systems that enable those struggling with Alzheimer’s, dementia, and other cognitive and physical challenges to reconnect with the world through music-triggered memories. Currently, Brian volunteers two to three hours weekly and sees 8–10 residents. He enjoys working with the dementia patients and loves the smile music puts on people’s faces—not onlyresidents, but also family and staff.

Each person receives an iPod loaded with his or her favorite music. Because music is stored in a different section of the brain than language, it often remains after many other memories have been lost. Music can function as a trigger to those memories. An added benefit is that music can have a calming affect when a resident is agitated.

Brian says, "I get the chance to make a difference in people’s life that day. I bring a smile and often memories that they enjoy sharing, which brings a sense of purpose and meaning into my day, as well. Volunteering allows me to keep doing some of my favorite types of work—without the time clock. Less expectations allows for a little more fun…and it gets me out of the house!"

More details can be found on the Music and Memory website (https://musicandmemory.org).

To find out more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter. Be sure and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

Feb 15, 2017

Nashville Symphony—Opportunities Galore Including the Instrument Petting Zoo

A newsletter from the Nashville Symphony advertising the Instrument Petting Zoo caught Jaeger’s curiosity and the rest is history! He is a lover of music and soon found this was just the place to volunteer his time and talents. Chuck has been volunteering there since 2009.

The Nashville Symphony offers a wide variety of opportunities to engage volunteers from Nashville and its surrounding communities. If you would like to support the performing arts through volunteer service, they would like to partner with you. Nashville Symphony volunteers can customize their schedules to fit their lifestyles. You are able to determine your level of commitment. For information about volunteering at the Schermerhorn, click "Volunteer Services" on their website (https://www.nashvillesymphony.org/support/volunteer/opportunities) or contact Kathleen McCracken at kmccracken@nashvillesymphony.org.

To find out more about coming podcasts, sign up for Ed’s Retire-To newsletter: retire-to.com/ed-s-newsletter. Be sure and visit retiretovolunteering.com.

 

Feb 15, 2017

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 my free, weekly newsletter at retire-to.com and get listings of coming episodes.

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