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Catholic Charities Club Aims to Involve Seniors in Volunteering

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By Ben Shedlock

Catholic Charities’ Give & Receive Volunteer Retirement Club has a full agenda for its scheduled visit to the House of Charity in September. There’s only one problem: the Give & Receive Club is not as full as its agenda. There is still space left to join. Could this be the right volunteer fit for you?

The volunteer group for retired seniors will begin the afternoon by serving lunch to shelter patrons. After lunch, they will tour the facility to meet the expert staff and learn about the wraparound services that help shelter patrons transition from life on the streets to more stable lives. 

The club members will finish the afternoon by building community as they reflect on their first volunteer experience together. Over the next nine months, from September to May, the Give & Receive Club will bond through meaningful service at all 10 Catholic Charities volunteer sites in Spokane. 

Benefits of the Club

This is the second year Catholic Charities has offered retirees the chance to participate in the Give & Receive Club. Last year, Marguerite Busch joined, and it opened new social, spiritual and volunteer opportunities for her. 

“As we’ve gone to each facility, they toured us around we and did a [volunteer service] project,” she said. Even Busch, who has been a Catholic Charities volunteer since the 1980s, was surprised to learn about the many ways volunteers could serve. “There were so many things I didn’t even know about!”

The Give & Receive Volunteer Retirement Club is perfect for seniors and retirees who want to volunteer but don’t know where to start. The Club lets volunteers sample each opportunity before they commit to one that fits their unique gifts and abilities. As a group, the Give & Receive Club will visit Catholic Charities programs on the second Tuesday of each month. The group will meet from 1:30–4:30 p.m. to tour and volunteer at a new program. 

“There are opportunities that don’t necessarily involve holding someone’s hand,” Busch said, noting while some people prefer interacting with clients, others prefer to contribute behind the scenes. She likes to volunteer at the CAPA/PREPARES program for parents of young children by bundling diapers and folding clothing donations. 

Busch said her participation in the Give & Receive Club helped her grow spiritually.

“Look at the corporal works of mercy,” she said. “I wondered, how could I visit the sick and clothe the naked? But you get there, and that’s what you’re doing!” 

Not too Late to Join

It’s not too late to join this year’s Club. The Give & Receive Club is still open to new members. Interested individuals can participate in an information session on the following dates:

  • Tuesday, Aug. 13 from 1:30–3 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Aug. 21 from 4:30–6 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 1:30–3 p.m. 

Information sessions will be held at the Catholic Charities office at 12 E. 5th Ave. For details or questions, contact Volunteer Services Manager Kassi Kain at kassi.kain@cceasternwa.orgor (509) 358-4270, or visit our website at cceasternwa.org/volunteer.

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Ben Shedlock

About Ben Shedlock

Ben Shedlock is the communications coordinator for Catholic Charities Eastern Washington. Before working as a writer, he served Catholic Charities as a refugee resettlement caseworker. Ben’s career has emphasized Catholic Social Teaching’s themes of solidarity and an option for the poor. He is a member of St. Ann’s Catholic Church. You can reach him at bshedlock@ccspokane.org.

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