During their later years in life, many find that they now have the freedom to devote time to volunteer pursuits that will ultimately benefit the community, their neighbors and themselves. A few hours each week could make a difference in someone’s life. The opportunities abound.
Broad-based Volunteer Initiatives
Senior Corps is America’s largest volunteer network for people age 55 and over. One of the three main programs coordinated through Senior Corps is RSVP. Join RSVP and you join nearly 500,000 volunteers across the country who are tackling tough issues in their communities. Listings offer a full range of volunteer opportunities with thousands of local and national organizations. With RSVP, you choose how and where you want to serve as well as the amount of time you want to give. And you choose whether you want to draw on your skills or develop new ones. In short, you find the opportunity that’s right for you.
Pre-service orientation and on-site training are provided to all Senior Corps volunteers. The average volunteer commitment is 20 hours per week, yet hours are flexible at each site. For more information call 800.942.2677 or contact one of New Jersey's local sites listed here.
AARP Volunteer Match
AARP has created a customized site, powered by Volunteer Match, to assist seniors in finding service opportunities in their communities. The site features AARP volunteer opportunities, along with a wide variety of other community-based opportunities. Visitors to the website have only to enter their zip code, interests and time availability to search a national database of community-based volunteer opportunities. In response, they quickly receive a personalized list of local up-to-date volunteer possibilities. Additionally, an individual's expression of interest in a particular opportunity is sent directly to the listing organization. The listing organization will then contact you to provide more detail about each of the positions. Explore this further.
Volunteer New Jersey
Volunteer New Jersey is a partnership between the Association of New Jersey Volunteer Centers and the Governor’s Office of Volunteerism. While this is not an age-restricted program, you are sure to learn about local volunteer opportunities for senior citizens in every part of the state. Add your name to the growing list of people who want to lend a helping hand.To learn more about this organization call 973.424.1091.
Volunteer Opportunities with a Focus
The Foster Grandparent Program is another Senior Corps program. It connects volunteers age 60 and over with children and young people with exceptional needs. When you share your love, time, and experience, you have the power to help a child who needs you. As a Foster Grandparent, you’re a role model, a mentor, and a friend. Serving at one of the thousands of local organizations—including faith-based groups, Head Start Centers, schools, and other youth facilities—you help children learn to read, provide one-on-one tutoring, and guide children at a critical time in their lives. Put simply, you give the kind of comfort and love that sets a child on the path toward a successful future.Call 1.800.942.2677 (TTY: 800.833.3722) or go to their website to learn more.
The Senior Companion Program, also affiliated with Senior Corps, brings together volunteers age 60 and over with adults in their community who have difficulty with the simple tasks of day-to-day living. By becoming a companion to a frail person, you help that person stay in their own home and maintain their independence. Whether you’re giving families or professional caregivers much-needed time off, running errands, or simply being a friend, you’ll make a difference that strengthens and helps preserve an individual’s independence. And you’ll join with thousands of others to help control the rising costs of healthcare. Call 1.800.942.2677 (TTY: 800.833.3722) or go to their website to learn more.
The Volunteer Advocate Program Strives to Safeguard Elderly Citizens
NJ Long-Term Care Ombudsman was created by statute to preserve and protect the health, safety, and welfare of seniors residing in long-term health care facilities in New Jersey. The Volunteer Advocate Program was launched as a pilot project in March 1993. After a 32-hour training program, volunteer advocates are assigned to a long-term care facility where they make a commitment to spend at least four hours a week. While there, volunteer advocates are trained to observe the quality of services provided by the nursing home staff, such as how well residents are groomed and if their personal needs are being met.
The Volunteer Advocate Program is non-adversarial. Volunteers are encouraged to speak to facility staff about the care of residents, rather than interfering with staff duties or responsibilities. Over the past year, volunteer advocates have donated more than 25,000 hours in nursing homes, visiting elderly residents and advocating for residents’ rights. More than 9,000 visits have been made and approximately 5,000 concerns resolved to the satisfaction of the residents and their families.
Help Educate Seniors about Health Care Options by Becoming a SHIP Volunteer
SHIP – the State Health Insurance Assistance Program – is recruiting volunteers to help seniors make informed choices about their health coverage. With the help of volunteers, SHIP provides free, objective and confidential assistance to New Jersey Medicare beneficiaries who have problems with, or questions about, Medicare, Medigap, Medicare Advantage Plus and Long-Term Care Insurance. If you would like to become a SHIP volunteer and help people in your community better understand their Medicare-related insurance options, please call 609.943.3594. Learn more.
Become a Medicare Fraud Prevention Volunteer
Help fight Medicare waste, fraud and abuse by joining the SMP of New Jersey's volunteer program. All SMP of New Jersey volunteers receive training and ongoing support. To join the growing team of dedicated SMP volunteers call 1.732.777.1940, ext. 1117. Learn more.