One of our wonderful volunteer teachers (and past president and board member) was featured in the Richmond Times-Dispatch this last Saturday. We love Bill Blake, who has written The Shepherd’s Center a couple of his great songs (one of which we have on video – to be posted at a later date – grin!). Take a look at the article:
One of our volunteer drivers sent the video above to me – Thanks Jack! It reminds me a lot of our own volunteers who give their time and gas to do what is right – to help their neighbors. It’s such an easy way to give back to your community. Call us today to find out more – 804-355-7282.
On Monday, April 7th at St. Luke Lutheran Church – The topic & speaker will be as follows: The Battle of Payne’s Farm…November 27, 1863. Speaker, Paul Sacra, hospital administrator. This is a change.
Hope you saw the great article about The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond on the front page of the Richmond Times Dispatch this morning! If you missed it, here is a link to the article online:
The class schedule for the winter term of the Open University is available now. Click here for class schedule. Classes begin January 13, 2014.
Our 2012 – 2013 Annual Report is now available. Find out just how much good we do in the community. Our volunteers and our donors are making a real difference for Richmond seniors!
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone as warm, delightful, or funny as Ruth Blevins. Ruth has been an Open University student for far longer than I’ve been at the Shepherd’s Center, and that’s almost a decade. Ruth has also enjoyed traveling with the Center. A few years ago, Ruth was concerned that she would no longer be able to drive to the OU, but her daughter stepped in and began bringing her mother.
Ruth won’t let a few extra years stop her from enjoying the Open University and her friends there. In fact, she just celebrated her 100th birthday!
Rosie Whitehorne and Carol Harris arranged a surprise for Ruth at the First Presbyterian OU. There was a cake, balloons, and a bouquet of flowers. When Ruth got out of the elevator, there was a gathering of well-wishers who sang happy birthday to her as she saw the cake.
If you’re getting up in years and just getting up out of bed in the morning has become a challenge, searching for volunteer work may be the last thing on your mind. But it may be just the boost you need. There is a growing body of research that indicates just how important it is to stay active by doing volunteer work after we retire.
It’s not hard to imagine that “giving back” helps us to find a genuine sense of meaning and purpose in later life, and that this good feeling can give us a health lift. To volunteer at any age feels good, but for a retired person with a lifetime of skills and experience, using that knowledge to improve the lives of others reminds us that although we are getting older, our value is not diminished. Sociologist Erik Erikson coined the term
“generativity” to describe this stage of human development. Generativity is the satisfying work that a person does later in life that firmly establishes the fact that something
worthwhile has been produced for the coming generation, or for the good of the
The satisfaction of having given something worthwhile to our community not only produces a good feeling in us; it has been proven in many studies to help us live much longer! A research project led by Arizona State University psychologist Morris Okun
concluded that “…among older adults with some functional limitations, the risk of mortality is approximately three times greater for those who did little or no volunteering, relative to those who volunteer more frequently.”
Drs. Harris and Thoresen at Stanford University published their findings of a link between volunteering and mortality in the Journal of Health Psychology. They monitored a sample of over 7500 seniors in the United States for 8 years. Compared to people who “never volunteered,” people who “volunteered rarely” had a 41 percent decrease in mortality risk. People reporting that they “sometimes volunteered” reduced their risk of death by 42 percent, while those “volunteering frequently” reduced their risk by 53 percent. In addition, senior volunteers report better mood and health than those who don’t volunteer.
Seniors often develop loneliness, depression, and worsening of physical health as they retire from meaningful work and begin to lose friends and relatives. Volunteering helps fill this important gap. Formal volunteer programs can help provide an important new identity and purpose for older adults. This new sense of purpose results in an improved life attitude, as well as the health benefits that go along with increasing social engagement.
The Shepherd’s Center of Richmond is a volunteer-driven organization of seniors who volunteer to help other seniors. Each year, Shepherd’s Center volunteers contribute over 10,000 hours of service as teachers, drivers, handymen, and as committee members coordinating the work of the Center.
Consider volunteering this summer. It’s just what the doctor ordered!