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Old 03-27-2015, 11:04 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,756,785 times
Reputation: 32309

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I came across an email exchange between the CEO of a non-profit and the parents of two high school students who had volunteered in that non-profit's program during the summer of 2013. The parents had written to the CEO to thank him for the volunteer opportunity which the non-profit had provided for their two children. The following is a copy and paste of part of the CEO's response:

"I can't tell you how much I appreciate hearing of [names of the two high school age students]'s
positive experience this summer as volunteers in [name of the non-profit and of the particular program]. Please allow me to return the gesture--thank you for encouraging
your children to live a life that embraces volunteerism; so much of the
goodness of life in this country depends on the charity of spirit we
collectively possess. But for that charity of spirit to be perpetuated,
each generation must own it and then pass it on. So, thank you for imbuing
them with that.
And, obviously, I'm especially grateful that we at [name of non-profit]
were blessed to be the immediate beneficiary of their volunteerism. Thank
you."

I was impressed with that formulation of the volunteer spirit and attitude, impressed enough to start a thread about it. I could have put this in the Retirement Forum's Chat Thread, but I though it would more or less get lost there.

Discussion of volunteer work comes up from time to time in this forum; lots of us retired seniors do some it in one form or another. So although the subject of the quoted letter was two high school students, the message applies to us seniors also, it seems to me.

There is not really much to respond to here - that is, I don't expect this to ever be a very long thread - but I decided to put that quote out there anyway on the grounds that it was worth reading.
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:11 PM
 
Location: Near a river
16,042 posts, read 18,994,426 times
Reputation: 15649
It's a great reminder about the amazing bank of expertise in retirees who might be willing to devote some time to mentoring others, even just a few hours a week. So many youngsters and young adults have the potential smarts but not the confidence or the social status (networking) background to get ahead. When I see retirees idle and complaining about being bored or having lost their workplace "identity," I can't help but wonder what would happen if they out there and do as you suggest.
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:11 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
29,849 posts, read 54,552,867 times
Reputation: 31219
Volunteering in retirement is also a great way to keep active, build friendships and build a support community. My parents are in their early 80s and have been volunteers with their local park department for 12 years now. Early on they did things like painting, help clearing trails, and installing signs. Now they set up and serve the lunch and drinks for the younger volunteers, but the group of about a dozen are all retired so they can work during the day on weekdays when the park staff is available to assist and direct them. On the few occasions when they needed urgent help (I'm 3 hours away) they can call any of their other volunteer group and get someone to come right away.
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:31 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
25,087 posts, read 23,968,623 times
Reputation: 30996
You're impossible. You volunteer, you were a teacher. You sound like an impossibly good guy to me. Still, you sound unbelievably naive to me at times. Have you watched the movie Pretty Dirty Things?

I put up one of son's friends when his mom wouldn't take him. Here was here for three months. The one before that stayed here while he went to tech and worked part time. His mom sold her house and moved in with the boyfriend, and he had nowhere else to go. He was here for six months.

My son, the mechanic, is the manager of a lube shop. Whatever. He fixes all of his friends cars because they're all broke. He shops for parts online, gets the best price that he can find, and fixes them.

He is the angel of mercy for 20 something guys who have to drive to work. Hallelujah.
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:01 AM
 
10,819 posts, read 8,075,211 times
Reputation: 17034
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post

My son, the mechanic, is the manager of a lube shop. Whatever. He fixes all of his friends cars because they're all broke. He shops for parts online, gets the best price that he can find, and fixes them.

He is the angel of mercy for 20 something guys who have to drive to work. Hallelujah.
"Volunteer" is just another word for helping someone else. Your son does that, as did the teens in Escort Rider's account. It's not a competition.

There's no need to participate in a program labelled 'volunteer' to help others. Many who post here are 'volunteering' by caring for their elderly parents or grandchildren. I celebrate them, your son, and Escort Rider's students.

Many people spend so much time and energy caring for their own family/neighbors that they haven't anything left to give to a formal volunteer program; conversely many people who don't have family/neighbors to care for are left, like Escort Rider, to seek other outlets. It's all good.

edit to add: Providing compassionate care to animals, whether by going to a shelter or caring for them as one's own is also 'volunteering'. A few posters here do just that, I applaud them also.

Last edited by biscuitmom; 03-28-2015 at 01:23 AM..
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Old 03-28-2015, 06:19 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles area
14,018 posts, read 17,756,785 times
Reputation: 32309
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
You're impossible. You volunteer, you were a teacher. You sound like an impossibly good guy to me. Still, you sound unbelievably naive to me at times. Have you watched the movie Pretty Dirty Things?

I put up one of son's friends when his mom wouldn't take him. Here was here for three months. The one before that stayed here while he went to tech and worked part time. His mom sold her house and moved in with the boyfriend, and he had nowhere else to go. He was here for six months.

My son, the mechanic, is the manager of a lube shop. Whatever. He fixes all of his friends cars because they're all broke. He shops for parts online, gets the best price that he can find, and fixes them.

He is the angel of mercy for 20 something guys who have to drive to work. Hallelujah.
No, I have never seen the movie "Pretty Dirty Things". And I do not think of myself as nave, so I was especially interested in that comment. I would be grateful for some examples of that, and if you think they would be off topic, you are welcome to send me a direct message.

I agree with and endorse Biscuitmom's comments; I did not have in mind setting up a competition. I also agree that they way you and your son have gone out of your way to help others probably exceeds what most people do in formal volunteer programs. I commend you. It's all good, from generous financial donations to making a major difference on behalf of an individual to participating in formal volunteer programs.

I confess to being puzzled by your comment about my being "impossible". Yes, I volunteer and I was a teacher - nothing terribly remarkable about that, as far as I can see. I do feel fortunate to have found volunteer activities that are so gratifying and so enjoyable to me. Perhaps I have gone overboard in describing my enthusiasm and my enjoyment? Is that what you mean? When one has a great passion for something, there is usually the danger of being too "passionate" about it.
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Old 03-28-2015, 06:38 AM
 
8,204 posts, read 11,927,697 times
Reputation: 18020
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerania View Post
You're impossible. You volunteer, you were a teacher. You sound like an impossibly good guy to me. Still, you sound unbelievably naive to me at times. Have you watched the movie Pretty Dirty Things?

I put up one of son's friends when his mom wouldn't take him. Here was here for three months. The one before that stayed here while he went to tech and worked part time. His mom sold her house and moved in with the boyfriend, and he had nowhere else to go. He was here for six months.

My son, the mechanic, is the manager of a lube shop. Whatever. He fixes all of his friends cars because they're all broke. He shops for parts online, gets the best price that he can find, and fixes them.

He is the angel of mercy for 20 something guys who have to drive to work. Hallelujah.
WTF was that all about??

Chillax

(Oh, and btw, the name of the movie is Dirty Pretty Things, not Pretty Dirty Things.)
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Old 03-28-2015, 11:14 AM
 
Location: Mid-Atlantic
25,087 posts, read 23,968,623 times
Reputation: 30996
Quote:
Originally Posted by MadManofBethesda View Post
WTF was that all about??

Chillax

(Oh, and btw, the name of the movie is Dirty Pretty Things, not Pretty Dirty Things.)
I'm not going through menopause, so I have no excuse.

I always get that movie title wrong.

At least no one corrected my punctuation.
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