Volunteer Services Offered
Without volunteers, the Auburn Senior Center could not continue to operate at the current level. The Center depends upon volunteers to run the office and many of our programs. The following is but a partial list of volunteer opportunities at the Center. We welcome suggestions for programs that require volunteers, as well as suggestions that indicate a volunteer.
The Council of Aging, through the Lorraine Gleick Nordgren Senior Center, promotes a number of Volunteer opportunities both at the Center and throughout the Town. Between 100 - 200 volunteers with diverse skills, talents, and abilities share their energy and time with their neighbors and friends.
Among the many ways volunteers can share their time and talents are through some of the following opportunities:
- AARP Tax Preparation
- Art Lessons
- Computer Instructors
- Crafts Group
- Exercise Program
- Friendly Visitors
- Fuel Assistance
- Library Card and Board Games
- Meals on Wheels
- Medical Escort
- Nutrition Site
- Past Prime Time Players
- Senior Center Clerical Tasks
- And more
Guidelines to Volunteering at the Lorraine Gleick Nordgren Senior Center
Volunteering requires a firm time commitment. Every volunteer should be willing to dedicate their efforts for at least 25 hours per year. Volunteers are individuals of high moral character who are able to address solutions for the empowerment and betterment of the Seniors of Auburn.
Attendance and Leave
In the event that you are unable to fulfill your volunteer commitment (for any reason), please give as much notice as possible to the Senior Center. You may do so by calling the Center at (508) 832-7799. Please do this as early as possible so that a substitute can be found to fill your shift.
Volunteers are expected to keep track of their hours on a monthly basis and to submit a monthly time sheet to the Assistant Director in a timely manner. Volunteer sign-in sheets are provided inside the entrance door for your signature and why you are there. Any volunteer away from the center will be given a volunteer hours’ record sheet to record the number of house volunteered.
If you need to change your volunteer status to “inactive,” please contact the Director or Assistant Director at the Center. If you are an inactive volunteer, you will not be called to volunteer at the Senior Center. To change your status from inactive to active, you must again notify the Director or Assistance Director.
Accident / Injury / Incident
If an unusual accident, injury, or incident occurs during your volunteer shift, please fill out an Accident report at once. Incidents related to health, injury, accident or other events all require a report. If you are injured while volunteering, please notify the Director or Assistant Director immediately. As a department of the Town of Auburn, the Senior Centers’ management are required to document and report all incidents and injuries as soon as possible. Please see the Director or Assistant Director to obtain this report and return the form upon completion.
Personal Health and Safety
The Senior Center is concerned for your personal health and safety while you are performing your volunteer duties. It is in your best interest not to over-exert yourself while volunteering at the Senior Center. Examples of going beyond your physical abilities include (but are not limited to) lifting heavy items that present a challenge for you, assisting a client who has fallen or requires assistance while in a wheelchair, not taking a break when you feel tired, and volunteering when you are ill. If you are unable to perform an activity or feel uncomfortable performing a task at any time, please inform the Director or Assistant Director.
Volunteer Rule of Conduct
A Volunteer shall not address a public gathering, appear on radio or television, prepare any article for publication, act as correspondent to a newspaper or periodical or release or divulge information or any other matters pertaining to the Council on Aging, either in an official or unofficial capacity, unless he or she had been directly authorized to do so by the Council on Aging or Senior Center Director.
Improper conduct is not acceptable for Council on Aging Volunteers. Unacceptable behavior includes, but is not limited to:
- Willful neglect and/or physical or verbal abuse of a client or staff member
- Unauthorized use of Council on Aging equipment or supplies
- Neglectful, willful abuse or destruction of Council on Aging property
- Breach of confidentiality
- Disregard of Council on Aging policies and/or procedures
- Chronic absence or lateness in reporting to your volunteer assignment
- Working while under the influence of, or suffering from, the effects of alcohol, non-prescribed drugs or other intoxicants
- Practice, or toleration of, discrimination or harassment
Basic Considerations for Volunteer Services
- Carefully choose the area in which you want to volunteer your time to assist senior citizens as assignments suited to your own interests and abilities are likely to be the most rewarding
- When estimating the amount of time you want to give, and making that commitment of your time, it is important for everyone that you keep it
- Arriving at your assignment on time is extremely important
- Know the job requirements in advance; understand what is expected of you; expect guidance and direction
- Maintaining “strict” client confidentiality is extremely important in maintaining the Center’s high ethical standards
- Approach your volunteer experience with an open mind and enjoy your commitment
- Volunteers do not receive compensation but are acknowledged or recognized for their service
Benefits of Volunteering
The volunteers at the Senior Center bring a unique set of skills that contribute to the Senior Center Volunteer Department. Volunteering is a way for people to become integrated into their community, and it has been well established that social integration yields positive mental health effects. Volunteering is a way of providing help to others, which can be a self-validating experience. Helping others, fulfilling a need, socialization, meeting new people, making new friends, and learning new skills are a few reasons why people volunteer their time at the Auburn Senior Center. In addition, the volunteers who offer 25 hours or more of their time per year are invited to attend the Annual Volunteer Dinner in December. Volunteers should feel free to make suggestions and help in the planning of new programs.
Volunteers’ Expectations from the Senior Center Staff
- Staff needs to know what the role and expectations of the volunteer are
- Staff will treat volunteer as a respected team member
- Staff will provide adequate orientation and training to prepare the volunteer for a successful service experience
- Staff will be prepared for the volunteer’s start date which includes supervision and supplies
- Staff will keep volunteer informed of any changes in current policies and/or procedures and programs via newsletters and training
- Staff will maintain accurate records of volunteer’s hours and service (after serving three hours in a voluntary shift, volunteer must personally record additional hours per month)
- Staff will provide recognition and acknowledgement of service and/or contributions to all volunteers on an ongoing basis
- Staff needs to provide a supportive environment (work space, climate, tools, etc.)
Qualities of a Good Volunteer
- Good Listener
- Common Sense
- Able to communicate
- Able to get along with others
- Receptive to new ideas
- Sensitive to others
- Emotionally stable
- Willing to take criticism
- Sense of humor
- Good judgment
Volunteer Do’s and Don’ts
- 1. Regard everything you hear as confidential information
- 2. Use good, sound judgment and caution at all times, reporting anything unusual to the Director or Assistant Director
- 3. Be friendly and a good listener
- 4. Keep your commitment, but if you can’t, please contact the Center as soon as possible
- 5. Consider yourself a valued member of the Senior Center
- 6. Report any injuries immediately to the Direct of Assistant Director
- 7. Dress appropriately for your volunteer assignment. Be comfortable, neat, and well groomed (casual)
- 1. At any time, discuss clients and their conditions with anyone outside the Senior Center, as this information is strictly confidential
- 2. Report to your assignment if you are ill
- 3. Volunteers must not smoke in a client’s home (or in the Senior Center)
- 4. Make any promises you can not keep
- 5. Find a replacement for your volunteer shift unless you notify the Center of personnel change
Volunteering Opportunities at the Lorraine Gleick Nordgren Senior Center
Perform as a musician or singer; hold a fitness, craft, art or drawing class; conduct an educational program or lecture; assist with bingo, cribbage, or other games; assist with the monthly decoration of the display case in the dining area.
Baked goods are needed for various activities throughout the year for dinners and special events. Volunteers are needed occasionally to prepare and donate these baked goods (i.e., cookies, cakes, pies, and assorted pastries).
Serve refreshments for various Senior Center functions which may include intergenerational parties, training workshops, etc.
Lend a hand at the Senior Center facility, under the direction of the Custodian, with indoor and outdoor maintenance projects. During the spring, summer, and fall, extra hands are needed to assist with outdoor landscaping and gardening.
Computer literate volunteers are needed at the Senior Center to enter information and prepare reports utilizing IBM compatible computers. The software includes Word, Excel, Microsoft Publisher, and Open Office.
Assist in the preparation and serving of meals to seniors in the in-house dining room; assist with the clean-up of the dining room and kitchen; and assist with the coffee and refreshments set-up for special events.
Brighten someone’s day by contacting a home-bound or ill senior by phone or personal visit at their home (someone who lives alone) for a brief period of time for conversation, a listening ear, or to play a game is also welcoming.
There is also a need for organizers and leaders to facilitate a variety of outdoor games such as: horseshoes, vollyball, and other activities.
Assist with special events such as fairs and festivals; help maintain the library; start a support group; or provide free financial or legal advice if you have professional expertise and knowledge in those areas.
Home Delivered Meals (Meals-on-Wheels)
Contribute your time to deliver nutritious supplementary lunch meals to homebound or shut-in Seniors.
Conduct an educational presentation or hold a computer instructional class for Seniors.
Collate our Flagtown Flyer newsletter at the Senior Center or volunteer to distribute the newsletter to locations around Auburn.
The volunteer’s position for coverage at the front desk includes the following responsibilities:
- Present and create a positive, welcoming atmosphere for callers and visitors
- Greet visitors, answer the phone, take messages, and direct calls to appropriate persons
- Booking van transportation appointments according to availability of schedules
- Keep open mobile lines of communication with van drivers
- Help answer questions and supply information on activities at the Center
- Make copies and do other projects as they arise
Special Events / Projects
There are various events, shows, and activities that are held throughout the year for which volunteers are always needed. (Examples of projects: delivering library books, sending birthday cards.)
Volunteer van drivers (no special license required) to assist with special trips or fill in for absentee driver.
Medical Escorts or Grocery Shopping Aides
There is always a need for volunteer help for seniors who are in need of transportation to their medical appointments, the pharmacy, or to the grocery store.
People sometimes want to volunteer but do not want to be part of an ongoing activity. If this is the case, you could become part of the “volunteer pool” at the Center. You may be called upon to offer assistance for special events and onetime projects. You can also serve as a substitute for any volunteer position.
The Center’s library is in constant need of reshelving and resorting and as books are donated on a continuing basis organizing them is an ongoing task.
Friendly Visitor / Respite
To stay with a frail Senior for a few hours a week to provide the caregiver some relief in their daily routine.