Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Lesson from Volunteering

The New York Foundation for Senior Citizens’s volunteer program has empowered senior advocacy for decades. Volunteers provide care facility residents with the necessary support and resources that enable them to campaign on their own behalf, from collecting Social Security benefits to demanding better personal treatment.

Residents are not the only recipients of this mutually beneficial exchange. While volunteers receive gratifying sentimental rewards from their work, they also acquire practical job skills that enhance any career path. As a volunteer, Hank Weit learned the practical, day-to-day, of geriatric care that enabled him to pursue a new career in geriatric care management. “I had references; I had a lot of people who would speak up; I had networking contacts,” says Weit, a volunteer of six years. “Most importantly, I had networking experiences.”

From negotiating to problem solving skills, volunteers gain new insight into a potential new career path, while simultaneously giving back to the senior community. Volunteer Marie Jouvelle Aubourg says, “I had a great-grandmother who was in a nursing home and I took care of her a lot and visited her a lot during that time. So I did want to come back and give back to the elderly community.”

For more information on the volunteering program at the New York Foundation for Senior Citizens, visit

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