Finding time to volunteer in your local community can be difficult in today’s hustle and bustle. But the benefits of volunteering — especially with seniors — are profound.
Volunteering with older adults offers many learning opportunities and allows you to make valuable connections. Older adults are a quickly growing demographic in today’s society, and many volunteering opportunities exist to help serve them.
If you’re thinking about volunteering with seniors but don’t know where to begin, consider a few of these local organizations.
Meals on Wheels Western Michigan
Allegan and Kent counties
Meals on Wheels Western Michigan (MOWWM) provides home-delivered, nutritionally balanced meals that are delivered to seniors in Kent and Allegan counties. Over 2,500 meals are served daily and are prepared locally in the organization’s central kitchen.
MOWWM also provides pantry services to low-income Kent County residents and has senior dining sites at 19 locations throughout Kent and Allegan counties.
There are a variety of ways to help and volunteer, including delivering and packing meals, and helping at the pantry. Visit the MOWWM website for more information on all of its volunteering opportunities.
The Alzheimer’s Association leads the way to end Alzheimer’s and all other forms of dementia by accelerating global research, driving risk reduction and early detection, and maximizing quality care and support. The Walk to End Alzheimer’s, a popular volunteering opportunity, is the world’s largest event to raise awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s care, research and support.
The Michigan Chapter, which has an office located in Norton Shores, has many ways you can make a difference, and any necessary training will be provided. You can become a community educator, a support group facilitator and special events volunteer, among many other roles.
Visit alz.org/gmc/volunteer for a full list of volunteering opportunities.
Office location: 231-780-1922 549 Seminole Road, Suite 103 Norton Shores
Wings of Hope Hospice
Allegan County, Van Buren County and surrounding communities
Wings of Hope Hospice enables family members to surround their loved ones with love, time, comfort and dignity in the face of life-limiting illnesses and end-of-life care. The organization also provides training and assistance to loved ones that will need to provide care.
Wings of Hope’s services include hospice support, Journeys palliative care, grief support, community education, care at Wings Home and advance directive completion. Wings Home is a unique four-bedroom home for those who cannot care for themselves and require more care than a family member can provide, or when no one is available to provide care.
Volunteer opportunities include visiting, reading and taking walks with patients; writing letters; supervising visits with pets; taking care of household chores; preparing meals; administrative work and more. For those interested in volunteering, training is provided, and support is available around the clock.
Lakeshore Assisted Living serves the Grand Haven, Spring Lake and Ferrysburg areas, offering quality, affordable senior living options, including assisted and independent living, as well as memory care services. The organization is owned and operated by Baruch Senior Ministries, a faith-based nonprofit, and focuses on providing a comfortable, loving environment for its residents and their families.
There are many ways to volunteer and help the senior residents of Lakeshore Assisted Living’s communities, including maintenance, housekeeping, activities, dietary assistance and spiritual care.
Urban St. magazine is distributed to residents and visitors of the lakeshore communities of Holland, Zeeland, Grand Haven, Spring Lake, Saugatuck, Douglas, Fennville, Muskegon, Nunica, Port Sheldon and West Olive at numerous pick-up locations including attractions, retailers, restaurants, hotels and salons/spas.