For me, daily social interaction is essential. For 25 years, I worked in school libraries where hundreds
of students, teachers and parents visited daily. Before that, I worked in a small and friendly public library. As a stay-at-home mum, I enjoyed playgroups and shared activities with other young families.
Currently, I have volunteered to sort donated bakery products and to count money at the church. Unfortunately, these are mainly solitary endeavours that provide me with little satisfaction. I
am looking for skill-based volunteer opportunities. I have teaching, library and writing experience.
I am friendly, fluent in English and French, and computer-literate.I am able to learn new skills but I can be quite slow and awkward with manual tasks. I enjoy working with other people who are similar in interests and age. The problem seems to be that I am 64 years old and have been retired for almost 5 years.
Last week, I completed online applications for volunteer positions in Vancouver and in Richmond, the suburb where I live. It seems to me that society has placed many obstacles in the paths of would-be volunteers. Various volunteer management software systems have required me to create
accounts with user names and passwords. I worked with computers in the library and supervised computer relief classes at school but for an older adult, the technology could be off-putting.
It seems to me that certain volunteer positions should be aimed at elders with a lifetime of skills and experience. Personally, I feel reluctant to apply for a position for which the minimum age is 14. There are programmes which feature multi-generational volunteer opportunities but as a former teacher, I really want to work with adults now.
Partial success! I have been accepted to lead a book club for older adults at a community centre and to be a guide at our local heritage shipyard museum. I am well-qualified for these two positions as I worked in libraries for 30 years and researched and wrote a children's book (still unpublished) about a local shipbuilding family.
Saturday, I attended an orientation at the shipyard. The average age of the volunteers was about 50 years younger than I am! Nevertheless, I took my criminal record forms into the RCMP detachment
office and was set to register for some volunteer shifts this morning. Guess what! I can't log in.