Volunteers are always at the top of the wish-list for nonprofit organizations, but the pandemic has left many groups scrambling for the helping hands and hearts necessary to fulfill their missions.
“We have a wonderful giving community but money contributions along with able bodies are both needed to make us happy and healthy again,” said Sharon Sherlock, a senior health insurance and volunteer advisor with Moore County.
There are a number of urgent volunteer needs in healthcare and elder care settings. Those more comfortable working from home can also find plenty of meaningful ways to improve their communities.
The Moore County Department of Aging compiles an updated list of volunteer opportunities that can be downloaded from the county website or picked up at the Moore County Senior Enrichment Center, located on U.S. 15-501 two miles north of the Pinehurst Traffic Circle. Sherlock hopes this resource booklet will call attention to the variety of different volunteer jobs and she encourages other organizations to reach out to be included.
“We have so many wonderful agencies here that just need help. The idea was to create a one-stop shop for people. It has been very beneficial for our organizations,” Sherlock said, noting the booklet isn’t just for seniors, “The volunteer part is for everyone. We want potential volunteers to find the right fit — a place that will click for them.”
Two volunteer opportunities supported by the Moore County Department of Aging include Good Call Connections, a free telephone reassurance service, and the Seniors’ Health Insurance Information Program (SHIIP).
“Good Call Connections is something we came up with a few years ago, prior to Covid-19,” Sherlock said. “Seniors are often isolated no matter how you look at it.”
The service is not a welfare check. It is a more informal, social phone call between a volunteer and participating senior. The Senior Enrichment Center tries to match people up who will be compatible with each other.
“It is a ‘how are you doing today’ type of call. It is about talking about their needs and helping them with resources, or maybe it’s just someone to talk to, to listen and share. Some of the participants will become engaged with community offerings, others may be totally stuck at home. It just depends on the story, and everyone has a story to tell.”
If you or someone you know is interested in receiving a friendly phone call or would like to volunteer to make someone’s day, contact Sharon Sherlock at firstname.lastname@example.org or (910) 947-4178.
Sherlock also oversees SHIIP volunteers in Moore County, noting North Carolina is coming up on the next open enrollment period for health insurance.
SHIIP volunteers provide seniors with an unbiased opinion on their current healthcare coverage. There is no commission or cost to participate. All volunteers are trained through the N.C. Department of Insurance.
“It is a very rewarding volunteer job because you are helping people to make good decisions,” Sherlock said. “And now is an excellent time to get started because you can volunteer to help this year and then be better prepared to take the state test next year.”
To schedule an appointment for a free and unbiased assessment, or to volunteer to assist with SHIIP, call (910) 947-4178.