Fabulous After 50: Why Volunteers Are So Special, and How to Find the Right Volunteer Position for You
Volunteers give back—and get back—in return.
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Find the Right Volunteer Position for You
Volunteers are needed for a wide variety of positions at hospitals, nursing homes, senior centers, food kitchens, museums, historic homes, theaters, schools and many other organizations throughout Delaware. Listed below is just a small sampling of the many nonprofit organizations in the state currently looking for volunteers to help them fulfill their missions and serve the community. No matter what a person’s talents or interests, there’s an organization out there in need of those services.
One helpful resource for getting started is the Retired & Senior Volunteers Program in each county, which matches volunteers with organizations. Other resources include VolunteerDelaware.org, part of the state Department of Health and Social Services, and the Get Involved partnership between the United Way of Delaware, The News Journal and Delaware nonprofits. (delawareonline.com/getinvolved)
AARP.org/states/DE, (866) 227-7441
Advocates on issues and offers educational programs about issues that affect Delawareans over age 50.
Self-directed and motivated volunteers are needed to draft letters to the editor and help with social media outreach. Help is also needed with community outreach events and office work.
American Heart Association
Supports research and education about heart disease and stroke.
The Delaware chapter holds seven major fundraising/education events annually. Volunteers are needed for everything from planning to cleanup. Volunteers also perform office work and run information tables at community events.
American Red Cross of the Delmarva Region
redcross.org/de/wilmington, (800) 777-6620, ext. 6240
Provides relief to those affected by disasters and helps communities prepare for and respond to emergencies.
The local Red Cross is most in need of after-hours workers to take calls from emergency workers and triage them for response as well as for people to train as Disaster Action Team members. Volunteers are also needed to work at shelters or to teach community disaster education courses and answer preparedness questions at community events.
Bayhealth Medical Center
Bayhealth.org, Kent General volunteers 744-7153; Milford Memorial volunteers, 430-5621
Operates one full-service hospital in Kent County and one in Sussex as well as various outpatient facilities.
Volunteers are needed for a wide variety of tasks, including escorting patients, helping patients with lunchtime meals, working as information desk greeters, operating the library cart, baking cookies on the nursing unit and bringing trained therapy dogs for pet visitations.
Biggs Museum of American Art
BiggsMuseum.org, 674-2111, ext. 101
The Biggs Museum displays examples of decorative arts and antiques from the mid-Atlantic and offers educational programs, workshops and lectures.
Volunteers greet and orient visitors to the museum and assist with programs.
CreativeMentoring.org, (877) 202-9050, ext. 10
Connects volunteers with Delaware youth needing consistent social, emotional and academic support.
Volunteers devote one hour weekly to in-school mentoring of K-12 students. Board and committee members also needed.
Easter Seals of Delaware and Maryland’s Eastern Shore
Provides services to children and adults with disabilities to help them live more independently.
Volunteers are needed to help with outings with adult clients, to entertain, teach crafting or other skills, fundraise or help with office work. Easter Seals is also looking for people with strong video production skills.
The Grand Opera House
Home to several arts groups and host to guest performances, The Grand also engages in educational outreach.
Volunteers in The Grand’s Show Corps take tickets, usher, check coats and bartend. Opportunities also exist for volunteers to provide staff support.
Literacy Volunteers Serving Adults
Teaches English as a Second Language and basic reading skills to adults in New Castle and Kent counties.
Volunteers are needed to tutor individuals or small groups of adult students or to lead conversation groups. There are also opportunities at the Head Start Family Literacy Program or as resources in computer labs.
Meals on Wheels Delaware
Delivers hot, nutritious meals daily to homebound seniors throughout Delaware.
Volunteers deliver hot meals to the elderly in their homes, a lunchtime commitment of 60-90 minutes. Daily, weekly, monthly, and holiday options are available. Volunteers also help with planning and executing eight core fundraising events annually in Delaware.
Ministry of Caring
Serves the poor in Wilmington through short-term shelters, food kitchens, child care centers, transitional and long-term housing and long-term senior living.
The wide variety of programs offered by the Ministry of Caring presents diverse opportunities for volunteers. They can help with administrative duties or in the food kitchens, provide child care, volunteer in the short-term housing and much more.
Read Aloud Delaware
Promotes preschool literacy and encourages a love of reading by ensuring that young children in Delaware are regularly read to one-on-one.
Volunteers read to children ages 2 to 5 in child care centers, Head Start centers and kindergartens at more than 100 locations around the state.
Ronald McDonald House of Delaware Inc.
Provides a temporary place to stay for families of seriously ill or injured children.
Volunteers assist with day-to-day operations of the House to ensure a warm, supportive environment. They also staff family rooms that the organization runs in three hospitals.
RSVP, New Castle and Sussex counties
Dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dssc/sov/rsvp.html, New Castle: 255-9882, Sussex: 856-5815
RSVP, Kent County
Modern-Maturity.org, 734-1200, ext. 128, or ext. 129
RSVP is a national organization that works to place people 55 and older in volunteer positions. The RSVP programs in New Castle and Sussex counties also seek volunteers for programs that the RSVP runs, such as Care Aware, in which volunteers knit or crochet clothing and layettes, and Del-EASI, through which retired scientists provide unbiased consultative services to legislators.
Sunday Breakfast Mission
Serves homeless and low-income people through its homeless shelter, long-term substance abuse program, community meals and numerous other programs.
Volunteers help with food preparation and serving, clothing distribution, thrift shop and annual events . Opportunities exist to work with women and children.
YWCADE.org, 655-0039, ext. 223
Promotes racial justice and empowerment of women. Volunteers are needed to perform office duties at the YWCA’s administrative offices and to work with children in its Home Life Management Center.
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