Volunteer Opportunities at The Dover Council on Aging
The Dover Council on Aging has a variety of opportunities for volunteers young and old. Below is a list of opportunities where we could use your help. If you would like to learn more about any of these opportunities, please contact Nancy Simms, COA Volunteer Coordinator, by email at email@example.com or by telephone at 508-315-5734. We have had great experiences working with students from a variety of local organizations – National Honor Society, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, DSHS, DSMS, Chickering, private schools, church youth groups – and are happy to help these young people meet their community service
- Spring and Fall Yard Clean Up – Many seniors find yard maintenance a challenge and would enjoy having someone lend them a hand with seasonal yard clean up. Although there are a few people who need help on a weekly basis (and are willing to pay for that help), most seniors just need help with the big yard clean ups in early spring and late fall. The Dover COA has had several successful coordinated clean up events where athletes from one of the DSHS sports teams or students from the National Honorary Society have gathered on a weekend afternoon for a team lunch followed by a few hours of yard work at homes throughout town. We always have requests for yard work helpers, so if outdoor work is your cup of tea, this opportunity is for you!
- Winter Snow Shoveling – Winter weather can be a challenge for all of us, but our elderly neighbors have a particularly hard time during the snowy months. Most seniors have snow plowing services to take care of clearing their driveways, but there is more than just the driveway that needs clearing in order for a senior to leave the house safely. Snow shoveling assistance consists of shoveling walkways and steps, the ends of driveways, and in front of garage doors. It is also helpful to have a path cleared from the driveway to the oil tank intake valve so the oil company can replenish oil tanks on a timely basis. Snow shoveling volunteers need to be willing to help out whenever Mother Nature makes the need necessary. If you would like to add your name to the list of volunteers, please contact the COA. We try to connect volunteers with seniors in their neighborhood in order to simplify transportation logistics. This is another volunteer activity that has been claimed in the past by DSHS sports teams and National Honor Society students.
- Dessert Baking for the Monthly COA Luncheons – The Dover COA hosts a monthly luncheon in the Caryl Community Center cafeteria on the second Tuesday of every month. The main meal is catered, but we rely on volunteers to provide the desserts. We have a rotating schedule of bakers and usually need three bakers each month. This is a great opportunity for our high school students also!
- Set Up and Clean Up for the Monthly COA Luncheons – The Dover COA hosts a monthly luncheon in the Caryl Community Center cafeteria on the second Tuesday of every month. We rely on volunteers to help set up the dining tables, the buffet tables and the coffee station. Clean up involves clearing off the tables, returning supplies to the storage room, and hand washing a few platters and utensils. The luncheons begin at 12 noon with set up beginning at 10:30am and clean up commencing at 1:30pm.
- Community Luncheons – On the third Tuesday of every month, Dover’s local churches (Church of the Most Precious Blood, Grace Church, St. Dunstan’s and The Dover Church), host a mid-day meal open to the entire community. The menu changes every month and is determined by the host church. If you would like to prepare food for the luncheon or help with hosting, contact your local Dover church or call the COA.
- Dessert Baking for Weekly COA Events – The Dover COA offers a variety of events and activities Monday through Friday on a weekly basis. If you would like to bake muffins or cookies or sweet treats for the seniors to enjoy while attending these events and activities, they would be warmly received! We would be happy to accept your kitchen creations on a regular basis or every now and then as the mood hits you!
- Blue Moon Bagel and Bread Donation Pick-up – Every other Thursday, Blue Moon Bagel Café in Medfield donates their day old baked goods to the Dover COA. Blue Moon collects the baked goods into large plastic bags and paper boxes and leaves them just inside the back door for us to pick up. They are happy to have us pick up these items Wednesday evening after their 6:30pm closing or Thursday morning after their 6:30am opening. The bags can be heavy, so this task is best for able-bodied volunteers!
- Blue Moon Bagel and Bread Donation Sorting – Every other Thursday, Blue Moon Bagel Café in Medfield donates their day old baked goods to the Dover COA. The baked goods arrive at the COA office some time before 9:00am and need to be bagged into portions of three or four items per bag. Throughout the day on these special Thursdays, seniors are welcome to stop by the COA office and select a loaf of bread, a bag of bagels or a bag of muffins and Danishes. The bagging process takes two or three people thirty minutes.
- Monthly Birthday Cards – We try to send birthday cards to every senior over the age of 80. There are usually between 15 and 20 a month. If you would like to come in once a month to address the envelopes and write general birthday greetings inside the card, we will be sure to get them in the mail on a timely basis.
- Monthly Newsletter Folding – The Dover COA produces a multi-page monthly newsletter. Our printing supplier delivers the collated but unfolded newsletters to our offices around the 25th of each month. If you (and a friend or two!) would like to fold newsletters and affix pre-printed address labels one afternoon a month, this opportunity is for you. It is easy busy work and allows for lots of great conversation.
- Set Up and Clean Up for the Monthly Movie Matinee – The Dover COA and The Dover Church jointly sponsor a full feature movie once a month. The movie is shown in Kraft Hall at The Dover Church at 1:00pm on the second Friday of every month. Popcorn, coffee and dessert are provided. On most occasions, the seniors enjoy time together afterwards to discuss the movie or to share general conversation. It is always special when the helpers join in on this social time.
- Technology Assistance – Technology is a great tool to help seniors stay connected with each other, with family and with the greater community. Seniors use technology to send and receive emails, place and receive phone calls, take and upload digital photos, access the internet, and read e-books. Questions that come up generally are around these basic functions although there are a few seniors who would like to learn more advanced technology skills. If you enjoy working with people and are technology-proficient (any high school student today qualifies!), this would be a great volunteer activity for you.
- Library Assistance – The Dover COA maintains a rotating library of over 400 donated books. We have hardcover books and paperback books, regular print books and large print books. We would welcome a volunteer librarian to help us manage our collection.
- Decorating Assistance – The Dover COA space includes two dedicated rooms in the Caryl Community Center – Room 108 (affectionately called “the Blue Room” because the walls are painted blue) and Room 116. We try to keep our decorations current and have a closet full of well-organized materials for every season. If you have a knack for decorating bulletin boards, window sills and table tops, we would love your help.
- Trip Planning Assistance – The Dover COA Travel Committee plans a variety of trips for Dover’s seniors. Recent trips have included a trip to the Concord Inn for lunch, a trip to the Heritage Museum and Gardens in Sandwich, and a two day overnight trip to New York City for the holiday shows and festivities. If you would like to help plan and research trips suitable for seniors, the Dover COA Travel Committee would love your help.
- Publicity – The Dover COA is looking for volunteer help in writing articles about our events for submission to the local newspapers. We would like stories that promote upcoming events and stories that share the successes of those events. If you like to write and work with the media, this volunteer opportunity would be great for you.
Do you have a talent or an interest you would like to share? Would you like to lead a craft class? Would you like to present photos and observations from a recent travel excursion? Would you like to share your passion for a particular topic with others? The Dover COA would be delighted to talk with you about your talents and interests and explore how might use them in creating a special personal event for Dover’s seniors. Please contact us by phone or email, or come to our offices in room 116 in the Caryl community Center.