Saturday, December 06, 2014

Should seniors be "expected" to volunteer or be part of national service?

With all the sporadic talk of national service, which always comes up after a national controversy (right now, police and race), and with some of the talk having focused on young adults (18-28 in McChrystal’s scheme), a fair question is, what about seniors?
After my layoff at the end of 2001 (when I was 58), I did vet the Peace Corps a bit while still in Minneapolis.  I was told that the oldest volunteer they had overseas was 82.  There are positions for information technology volunteers.
I actually got a paper application.  The questionnaire was relentless in seeing how socially connected the applicant was, including working closely with other people in very personal situations.  I did not have that kind of history so I did not pursue it.
I also heard about a position called “senior home companion” which paid a small stipend.  You could not be “hired” for that until you were 60.  I had no concept of how personal it could get.
There is a Senior Corps, as explained here

I’m not much on bureaucratized programs.  You can get an idea on what it does from the photo album there. There is a difference between local volunteering and "service programs".  

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