Volunteers reflect nation’s compassion

By John McAlpine

“Volunteers are the only human beings on the face of the earth who reflect this nation’s compassion, unselfish caring, patience, and just plain loving one another.”

Erma Bombeck

Here are some ways to help others:

Peer to Peer Counselor - To receive peer counseling you have to be at least 60. To be a peer counselor you have to be at least 55. If you are over 55 and want to help someone who is going through a tough time, this is for you. Training is provided and ongoing. You are matched with someone near where you live, and you meet weekly. You write status reports as required.

Volunteer Chore - For the investment of just a few hours, every few weeks, you can get a return on feeling good about helping a senior. Assist with things like dishes, laundry, vacuuming and so on. This helps them stay in their home and maintain some degree of independence. Matched with someone in your area, you and the client agree on the schedule.

Volunteer Transportation - Many people in our community look for assistance in getting to the doctor or the grocery store.  You pick when you drive (Monday through Friday only), pick where you drive, (Snohomish County only etc.) and the time of day you drive (mornings or afternoons).  Clients enter and exit the car on their own. You need an insured vehicle with working lights, brakes and horn and a few hours to give each week.

Food Banks - RSVP volunteers are with food banks in the following communities; Arlington, Edmonds, Everett, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Lynnwood, Marysville, Mill Creek, Monroe, Mountlake Terrace,  Mukilteo, Snohomish and Stanwood-Camano. Some have jobs involving driving, all have jobs involving work with clients. Hunger and food insecurity (not knowing if you will have enough to eat) are daily, on-going issues in our county.  Please contact me today.

SHIBA - SHIBA is an acronym for State Health Insurance Benefit Advisor. This opportunity is based in Lynnwood.  The program exists to help seniors understand and use Medicare. If you like helping others with complicated issues this type of volunteering might be for you. There is training and you are kept current with any changes in the law and regulations.