Volunteering at the SLO Senior Center provides its own timeless experience.
- Reminiscing about the Senior Valentine’s Social
- General volunteering opportunities at the Senior Center
- Expectations every volunteer should have
Looking back at the Senior Valentine’s Social
Every surface was covered with either red or pink decorations. Music was playing, cupcakes were devoured, people were laughing, and the seniors were the liveliest part of the party.
It was post-Valentine’s Day, the optimum time to buy discounted candy and decorations, when a group of Cal Poly students threw the SLO Senior Center a Valentine’s themed event full of musical entertainment, games, food and more.
Through RPTA 210: Introduction to Program Design, a course offered at Cal Poly, a group of students were assigned to put on a fun social event for the elder citizens of SLO. Besides preparing the event, students also had to volunteer time and effort to put on the event.
“We wanted to just give back to the community by celebrating the seniors basically and putting on an event for them,” said Emma Maltbaek, sophomore RPTA (recreation, park, and tourism administration) major.
Maltbaek was in charge of the cupcake decoration station and, according to her, her favorite part of the event was when the seniors made it down her line and she got to make small talk with them. “Having one-on-one conversations with senior citizens was completely new to me,” said Maltbaek, since her grandparents live in England.
Included in the fun was:
- ring toss
- mini bowling
- corn toss
- cupcake decoration competition
- live musician
More volunteering at the senior center
Dave Setterlund, community services and events supervisor for San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation department, stated that there are a variety ways to volunteer at the SLO Senior Center.
The average volunteer, who picks certain hours to work, has typical duties such as:
- working at the front desk
- answering phone calls
- opening the door
- making coffee
- greeting people
*Seniors mostly serve in this position, however it is open to a younger demographic
SLO Parks and Recreation Department will try and have three special events for the center annually. These are the events where the community reaches out to Cal Poly students, according to Setterlund. The events take place in Winter, late Spring and again in early Winter.
However, for those looking for more active involvement, Kristy Melchiorsen, recreation specialist for San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation Department, expressed that volunteers can even carry out programmed classes.
“It’s sort about bringing new life to already existing programs,” said Setterlund.
Mind the age gap
Go ahead and defy away! Volunteering your time with senior citizens lends itself to so many possibilities, if you know how to go about it.
Whether you use these experiences and wisdom to navigate through the world of volunteerism, in the future you can look back at what has been learned here and proudly say, “Back in my day…”