Finding Fulfilling Work in Volunteering
Seniors find ways to give back by volunteering int the community
Senior citizens are considered gold as volunteers. By retirement age, many seniors say they have a need to feel productive.
“I always wanted to give something back to the community” said, Marilyn Dalrymple of Sandy Springs, a volunteer, board member and founding mother of the Dunwoody Nature Center.
The Nature Center has about 1,000 volunteers, which amounts to about 6,000 hours of service per year, said executive director Claire Hayes. That’s equivalent to three full-time employees.
“I kiss their feet,” Hayes said.
Volunteer work keeps David McCracken busy.
“If you’re scratching your head wondering what to do with your time, you’re not looking,” he said. “There’s plenty of volunteer work available in Sandy Springs and Dunwoody. Just look around.”
The Dunwoody retiree volunteers at the Nature Center and Metro Atlanta Recovery Residences, a non-profit drug and rehabilitation treatment facility in Sandy Springs.
He decided to volunteer after the death of his wife several years ago. “I thought it would be a good way to give something back to our community and also a good place to meet some good friends that had some interests that I had,” said McCracken of the Nature Center.
He has helped to paint buildings and re-do the kitchen and offices.
As an original charter member, Walt Duensing, 85, was a longtime volunteer at the Nature Center. He now suffers from dementia, said his wife Peg.
The retired U.S. Navy man raised bluebirds at the center and provided food, shade, water and nests for the birds, Peg Duensing said.
“He lived a wonderful life of volunteering and is an exemplary example to all seniors,” she added.