Box 8, Folder 16, Document 22

Dublin Core

Text Item Type Metadata


Older Volunteer Participation in Community Life
Task Force Report, June, 1969

The Task Force was comprised of five retired or semi-retired
persons with known skills and varied background experience. They
were employed on a part-time basis, during June, to assist Senior
Citizen Services with the following tasks:

1. Explore existing volunteer service opportunities which
may be suitable for the involvement of older volunteers
as well as of the more traditional age groups.

Suggest new and untried service opportunities that might
be developed by Senior Citizens and/or other agencies
and organizations.

Contact sources of older volunteer recruits, or potential
recruits, through organized groups and individual con-
tacts. This was not intended as a specific recruitment
effort, but rather a testing of attitudes toward, and
interest in, participation as opportunities come to

Interpret the Educational Motivation school program now
in the planning stages with the Atlanta School System.

Report findings to Senior Citizen Services for comment
and future program planning efforts, including the
Model Cities Program.

Assignments were assumed by the Task Force workers on the basis
of a contact area with which they were familiar rather than geograph-
ically. However, different and varied economic levels of the community
were reached. A more detailed report to follow will reflect the range
of service opportunities and volunteer interest and willingness to
serve in appropriate roles.

A very brief summary of findings suggests the following:

1. Nursing Homes, with one or two exceptions, can and will
welcome the skills and interest of older volunteers and
will assure proper assignments and supervision. The
same is true of the two large hospitals visited and
other institutions concerned with mental and physical

Elementary Schools in low-income areas reiteriated their
desire to involve older persons in one-to-one relationships

with slow learners and with children lacking motivation.
A limited number of older individuals expressed interest
in this type of service.

3. Public Housing, High-rise Apartments and contiguous
communities - produced a vast need for personalized
services and comparable interest in giving service
to others by many residents. Simple service needs
e.g., friendly visiting, home delivered meals,
transportation to church and to markets, telephone
re-assurance and others were obvious.

4. Churches and related organizations were most enthusiastic
about a movement which would engage many of their older
members in other than so-called social clubs. By and large,
each congregation cares for its own but has not moved
beyond this concept in favor of serving the community at

5. The Task Force workers report a receptive attitude toward
the utilization of older volunteers and a surprising
number of retirees were pleased, others somewhat surprised,
to learn that there are roles and opportunities for them
in this big Atlanta metropolitan area.

6. The ever-present problem of transportation availability
and cost is, and will be, a deterent unless special
attention is given to ways and means of overcoming it.

In conclusion - Senior Citizen Services will work closely with
the newly established Volunteer Bureau of the Community Council to
assure the involvement of Older Volunteers and will strengthen the
volunteer service corps concept as a built-in dimension of its own
agency programs.

Elsie C. Alvis
Task Force Director

public items show