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".