Dr. Elbert Cole, founder of the first Shepherd’s Center, saw that as individuals retired from careers and moved into the next stage of life, they maintained an intense desire to continue growing and contributing to society. He recognized that with a deep sense of compassion to help others, a need to engage in lifelong learning, and a desire to improve the quality of life in their communities, older adults are a force for good.
Being “a force for good” requires not only altruism and passion – it takes time. Everyone who’s worked hard for a living can tell you, working doesn’t leave a lot of time to spare. For that reason, many of our volunteers come to TSCOR when time allows – generally after retiring and long before they’re ready to take it easy! They don’t get a paycheck. They get a tenfold return on the investment of their time. Just take their word for it:
Beth: “I volunteer because I do like giving back and I’m finally able and in a position to give back after all the years of working.” Susie: “I look for ways to bring joy into my life – at my “advanced” age – and teaching brings me joy.” Hal: “Exploring new avenues of thought, new avenues of experience – that’s helpful for anybody, but seniors, that’s a real fun thing for them to do in their retired years.” Gene: “Well, my wife and I, after we retired three years ago, we stared coming to [Open University] classes…and we thought it might be fun to start teaching some of the classes ourselves. I thought this might be a way that I could get engaged in teaching again without having to grade papers. It’s been a very enjoyable experience.” Susie: “We have a growing population of older citizens, and, once they retire, what are they gonna do? We offer them some opportunities with courses, travel and, with my own class that I teach, we get together outside of class, to just build friendships and camaraderie and make connections.”
Working hard for a living is its own reward. But TSCOR volunteers allow everyone to reap the benefits.
Happy National Volunteer Week, TSCOR volunteers! You make a difference. Thank you.