Consider volunteerism as a New Year?s resolution
By Erin Zastrow, Community Resources Manager
Aging and Disability Resource Center
Many people start off their new year by making resolutions. Wouldn’t it be a great resolution to commit to doing something to benefit yourself and your community? Many people put volunteering on their list of ways they want to make this year different than the last.
Volunteering can change and benefit both the volunteer and the recipient. The Aging and Disability Resource Center of Central Wisconsin Meals on Wheels volunteers frequently comment on how they feel about their experience. Jim Schoneman from Merrill said that becoming a Meals on Wheels volunteer has been a wonderful experience. “It is a blessing to have an opportunity to meet so many new people,” says Schoneman. Likewise, the participants frequently comment on Jim and how glad they are to see him on their route.
This is a positive result of volunteering and luckily it is not unique to Schoneman. Many of our volunteers throughout the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Central Wisconsin find they benefit almost as much as the recipient does.
Those that are served by volunteers have a positive experience. The participants for the Meals on Wheels program are older adults who are homebound. The food they receive and the reassurance of someone coming to the door on a daily basis can keep them at home longer. It’s more than the good nutrition or a hot meal – it’s the human connection they get when a volunteer is at the door. A woman from the Wausau area receives Meals on Wheels and commented about the volunteers that deliver her meals, “The volunteers come in happy, and when they leave, their happiness stays with me.”
The Aging and Disability Resource Center of Central Wisconsin offers volunteer opportunities with more than just Meals on Wheels. Volunteers come to some of our sites and package the food so it is ready to go for the Meals on Wheels drivers. Others volunteer at the Senior Dining Site to help offer a clean, welcoming location for seniors to enjoy a nutritious lunch. Our volunteers have also helped with computer based volunteering- such as Medicare Part D Open Enrollment and office volunteering. The handymen and women out there help with minor safety related repairs and modifications for older adults.
If volunteering is on your New Year Resolution list, we would like to hear more about your skills and interests. For more information on volunteering with the Aging and Disability Resource Center of Central Wisconsin, call 1-888-486-9545 or visit www.adrc-cw.com.