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Old 12-15-2016, 01:51 PM
 
5,822 posts, read 13,318,850 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
No thanks. Years ago we volunteered to help with the initial training for a dog to assist the blind. It was a horrendous experience. The poor puppy wanted to play. Not allowed. No chasing of sticks. No frivolity. Instead we were supposed to stand on the dog's leash and hold its head to the floor while we ate dinner. I understand the need for a highly trained dog but that was not something I could handle.
Training a therapy dog is not that extreme. I have a golden retriever who was easily trained. It takes time, effort and patience. A dog to assist the blind is a very rigorous training.

Our dog plays and runs, does not beg at meals, does not jump on furniture or people, obeys basic commands, is not startled by loud noises, will lay down on command and will sit and let someone pet her. When she "reads" with kids, she lays down next to them and "listens" to the story they are reading.
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Old 12-15-2016, 02:17 PM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
983 posts, read 761,844 times
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Do you do any gardening, OP? I was a Master Gardener for years. They provide the training - you don't have to be a skilled horticulturalist. The training costs about $150, which mostly goes to pay for your training/reference materials. Anyway, when you are done with the training, there are a variety of volunteer options available to you as a trained MG volunteer - answer a phone hotline (maybe from home), staff a clinic booth in a farmers market or plant nursery, write/edit a newsletter, etc.
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Old 12-15-2016, 02:45 PM
 
2,593 posts, read 5,292,786 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
I'm an atheist but I support the Salvation Army. I've seen the good work they do.
Yeah, me too. There are two reasons why I support them:

1. They are not publicity-hungry, like, say, the Red Cross. Also no high-pay scandals that I know of.

2. My father said they did good work during WWII.
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Old 12-15-2016, 02:56 PM
 
4,481 posts, read 4,743,979 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aery11 View Post
I am seriously considering getting a therapy pig and teaching it to play bingo at 'charity' nights.


Not many other options here in this tiny fishing village either if one cannot entertain oneself.
Have you seen Lil Lou??? Too cute


https://www.sfspca.org/sites/default...pring_2016.pdf
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Old 12-15-2016, 03:02 PM
 
Location: Planet Woof
3,139 posts, read 3,509,293 times
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How does one pursue this Master Gardener experience? I might like that!

OP, I can certainly understand where you are coming from. So often, and I hate to say it, people with ''little egos'' just love to stir stuff up in the form of power trips, gossip, etc. in these groups. I've seen it over the years as a working social service professional working alongside volunteer pools. Lots of drama and clickiness.
I think most volunteers and organizations are ''doing good'' in the long run, but I have no desire to be part of any of that in retirement. I've spent most of my adult life in a ''giving role''...nurse's aid, teacher, social worker, counselor...and now I just need some time for ME, away from people and obligations beyond my own.
Time to read, cook, walk in the woods, travel, hang out with my dogs and close friends and family, just no agendas.
I am a ''giver'', but I will focus on helping people directly, giving of my time, attention, affection, financial help on a one-on-one basis.
Be a good neighbor, loving friend, supportive partner.
I have rescued dogs for the past 10 years and support animal rescue organizations locally that are overwhelmed with need. I have 3 dogs left of my own out of 6. When I move to a house, hopefully next year, I will take in a few more. That is about as far as I can extend myself formally.
Every other form of ''giving'' is informal and mostly trying to be a good, decent person.
Little acts of kindness to those around me. That's how I plan to live out my days that are left.
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Old 12-15-2016, 03:03 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,699 posts, read 23,668,169 times
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It's like anything else, you have to keep trying until you find the right thing for you. Before retirement, I was a volunteer at our local theater for 15 years. I loved it because I'm into theater. Maybe if you can find something near and dear to your heart and there is volunteer work to be done you can go for that.

Now I volunteer to help distribute pet food to those elderly people who might be in need at certain times. The "bag and tag" takes place right in the senior center in my building. The volunteers also pet sit when someone has to go to the hospital or while they are on vacation. Works for me because I love critters.

Don't be discouraged. There is something out there if you want to help out in some way, keep trying.
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Old 12-15-2016, 03:09 PM
 
Location: Las Vegas
13,888 posts, read 25,327,549 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fluffythewondercat View Post
Some years ago when I was living alone after a divorce, I got involved with a food distribution non-profit called S.H.A.R.E. I don't remember what the acronym stood for. It was purportedly run by the Society of Friends (Quakers). The idea was that you paid some small amount -- like $12 -- in advance, then the pooled funds were used to make wholesale buys of foodstuffs. You were also asked to volunteer a certain number of hours a month to help keep the operation running.

I always volunteered on distribution day, making up boxes of food to hand out. I liked it because no one was on a power trip. Plus you got a variety of foods.

Unfortunately I moved away when I bought my condo and lost track of the people. I would like to do it again but it seems the program no longer exists.
Sounds like Angel Food Network. They were great but also not around any longer.
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Old 12-15-2016, 03:13 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW (Columbia Gorge) / CO / SA TX / Thailand
22,585 posts, read 39,962,822 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FeelinLow View Post
How does one pursue this Master Gardener experience? I might like that!

O...
Search for your " xxx - County Extension Service + Master Gardener"

Training is usually in Fall or Winter, but varies.

It is a really good way to learn about local growing climate, soils, pests, preferred varieties.

Very nice bunch of co-volunteers, and lots of different ways to contribute your hours. (From phone work to teaching elementary kids, or technically assisting in community gardens and parks.)
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Old 12-15-2016, 03:28 PM
 
Location: Cochise county, AZ
4,975 posts, read 3,460,586 times
Reputation: 10494
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ellwood View Post
Training a therapy dog is not that extreme. I have a golden retriever who was easily trained. It takes time, effort and patience. A dog to assist the blind is a very rigorous training.

Our dog plays and runs, does not beg at meals, does not jump on furniture or people, obeys basic commands, is not startled by loud noises, will lay down on command and will sit and let someone pet her. When she "reads" with kids, she lays down next to them and "listens" to the story they are reading.
It takes a special person/couple to train a seeing eye dog. The dog's understanding of commands is imperative. It's due to people like you that allowed my brother to have 'eyes'.

Thank you. His dogs gave him a freedom he otherwise would never have had.
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Old 12-15-2016, 03:59 PM
 
Location: Eastern Oregon
983 posts, read 761,844 times
Reputation: 1859
The Master Gardener program is run by your state university, which operates your county extension program. It is scientific in nature; if you become a MG, you will learn a lot of the current science regarding soils, plants, etc. They teach both organic and non organic methods, btw - you have to agree to provide info about both...I learned a lot while a MG, met some great people, *and* got a great MG mug! :-)
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