93 Winchester St. Brookline, MA 02446    617 . 730 . 2770    info@brooklineseniorcenter.org

One Person Can Make a Difference

VOLUNTEERING: “One Person Can Make A Difference”

In order to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus and comply with the mandates of the Federal, State and local government agencies, the Brookline Senior Center is closed. However, I and other BSC staff are working from home. You may contact me by phone (617 730 2743) or by e-mail pburns@brooklinema.gov. I check my mail and voicemail several times each workday and will reply as soon as possible. For non-volunteer issues please call the main BSC numbers – 617 730 2770 or 617 730 2777 and leave a message.

– – Volunteer content written by Patricia Burns

May 2020

AS OF MAY 1ST OUR VOLUNTEER PRIORITY NEEDS ARE:

       Senior Center

  • One-on-one telephone ZOOM or Skype or Facetime Join our computer team to coach a senior in one or more of these communication platforms. When you e-mail me (pburns@brooklinema.gov) please indicate IPHONE or Android, PC or MAC or Laptop so we can pair you with a senior with compatible equipment.
  • We are glad to hear from other ‘non-techies’ who are committed to community We will keep your name and contact information on file and will call upon you as needed.

     Springwell Home Delivery Meals on Wheels Drivers

  • At this time, Springwell is seeking volunteers who are willing to provide home delivery of meals. * Springwell is an essential part of the social safety net for thousands  of older adults each year, and we are continuing to provide the services that are helping them stay safe and in their homes during this challenging time.
  • Springwell especially needs volunteers who can work in the towns of Belmont, Brookline, Newton, Watertown, and If you are:
  • interested in receiving training and support to help us reach vulnerable seniors with critical in-home meals;
  • have a reliable car, a current driver’s license, and a clean driving record;
  • are available between 10 am – 1 pm;
  • are able to provide these services, consistent with guidance we receive from the CDC, WHO and other governmental agencies, recognizing you may come into contact with high-risk members of our community and others; and are successfully able to meet the regulatory prerequisites for the position.

Virtual Companionship Project

MUTUAL AID BROOKLINE is launching a virtual companionship project, which will pair high school students with Brookline seniors experiencing isolation and loneliness during this difficult time.   After a brief survey, seniors will be paired with students according to mutual interests. Volunteers will then have conversations with seniors over the phone or using video chats whichever is most comfortable for the senior. If you are interested, our hotline number is 617-651-1468.

 

Brookline Senior Center Volunteers in the News:

Photo and blurb in the Brookline TAB in November about Brookline High School senior and SHOP Student Coordinator Sidonie Brown receiving award and scholarship from the MIT Age Lab for her inter-generational work with the SHOP program. Visit from Global Service Learning Programme of Northern Ireland, September, 2019. We hope to host their high school students in the NI Education Authority Youth Services: Boston Study Visit next summer for a day of cultural exchange. Interview from Council on Aging of Southwestern Ohio regarding how to set up a SHOP program; Article TAB July 2019 re: Lincoln School Graduating 8th Graders at the Brookline Senior Center; Article re: 2019 John & Molly Dolan Awards with photo of Brookline Bank executives receiving the Community Partner Award was featured on the 1st & 4th pages of the Brookline TAB on April 25th 2019.  The Brookline Senior Center Alzheimer’s Walk Team photo and blurb were featured on the Your News page of the Brookline TAB on September 27.The Brookline Senior Center Food Pantry along with Springwell and the Brookline Food Pantry were filmed in June for airing on Brookline cable’s (BIG) Age Friendly City series. The topic of this episode is Food Insecurity in Brookline. The program can be viewed on: http://www.brooklinecan.org/index.html#TV and http://www.brooklinecan.org/agefriendly.html#TV. The SHOP Program between Brookline High School and Brookline Senior Center was featured on Boston 25 News on Thursday, February 22. The link to see the feature story can be found at https://t.co/9zECVvJDEd . The Brookline Senior Center Alzheimer’s Walk Team photo and blurb were featured on the Your News page of the Brookline TAB on September 28. Ruthann was quoted in a recent article in the Commonwealth Magazine (http://CommonwealthMagazine.org/economy).  Brookline shared an article with the Chicopee COA in the October issue of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Medex quarterly publication, Healthy Times. Brookline Senior Center intergenerational volunteers were spotlighted on Wednesday, March 29 on BIG, the local TV channel. If you missed it, you can find the ½ hour program link on the BCAN website or on the BIG Facebook page  https://youtu.be/iDDCgi8vKCk. Patricia also updates the volunteer pages of the Town and BSC websites and contributes to the BCAN Volunteer page monthly. She urges everyone to check these websites (www.brooklineseniorcenter.org/, www.brooklinema.gov/) and http://www.brooklinecan.org/. Brookline Senior Center volunteers were featured in an article in the April, 2016 issue of the fiftyplus advocate entitled Volunteering: A Work of Heart at the Brookline Senior Center. The article can be found on line at www.fiftyplusadvocate.com

 

Collaborative Volunteer Events and Opportunities:

SHINE: Open Enrollment for Medicare supplemental insurance has ended! However, SHINE (Serving Health Insurance Needs of Everyone) is administered by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Elder Affairs in partnership with Councils on Aging and other aging service access points. SHINE helps people on Medicare and seniors new to Medicare understand complex insurance options. SHINE volunteer counselors educate and provide unbiased help to choose an insurance program best for the individual.

SHINE trains counselors in a 2 days/week – 6 week course. Meetings to get support and meet with other counselors occur monthly. Once certified, you will be assigned to work 6 hours per week in a senior center or other public setting. If you are interested in becoming a certified counselor, call Dorene Nemeth, MetroWest Regional SHINE Director: 781 455 7555, ext. 202.

MASS ASSOCIATION FOR THE BLIND (MAB) – VIBRANT: The Brookline Senior Center is collaborating with the MAB on a grant to train vision impaired seniors on new technological equipment that has been installed in the BSC computer lab. Jeremias Feliz is the VIBRANT Program Trainer and will be available with other volunteers by appointment on Wednesdays from 1-5 and most Thursdays.

Technology connects, empowers, and provides a path to freedom: From being able to hail a ride using Uber, to apps to keep you organized and pay bills on time, to software that narrates navigation while you’re walking, and even being able to tell the color of a piece of clothing or denomination of money without human assistance – technology can be a game-changer. VIBRANT will help you find the tools that allow you to do what you want to do when you want to do it and live on your terms. We are committed to helping people with vision loss find new ways to access technology that helps you meet your goals – customized for your life.

VIBRANT can teach you to use assistive technology to:

  • Access, enlarge and read print information, hard-copy or digital
  • Better manage your time via note-taking, organization, paying bills, and banking
  • Navigate your world via transportation information and apps
  • Participate in leisure and recreational activities
  • Accomplish daily tasks, such as shopping, reading, social media, email, travel planning, handling money, and obtaining information about a visual task

An app that interfaces with a camera and sends images back to a sighted agent on the other end; gestures that enable an iPhone to work without being able to see any of the icons on the home screen, programs for reading or walking without a sighted guide were just some of the many tools a consumer in the new VIBRANT assistive technology program may learn.

The first step is coming in for an assessment, so that program organizers can help you find the right tools to help you to do what you want to do when you want to do it. We are committed to helping people with vision loss find new ways to access technology that helps you meet your goals – customized for your life.

  • Better manage your time via note-taking, organization, paying bills, and banking
  • Navigate your world via transportation information and apps
  • Participate in leisure and recreational activities
  • Accomplish daily tasks, such as shopping, reading, social media, email, travel planning, handling money, and obtaining information about a visual task

An app that interfaces with a camera and sends images back to a sighted agent on the other end; gestures that enable an iPhone to work without being able to see any of the icons on the home screen, programs for reading or walking without a sighted guide were just some of the many tools a consumer in the new VIBRANT assistive technology program may learn.

The first step is coming in for an assessment, so that program organizers can help you find the right tools to help you to do what you want to do when you want to do it.

We are committed to helping people with vision loss find new ways to access technology that helps you meet your goals – customized for your life.

MASS COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND: Help a visually impaired person by reading or shopping with them. No special skills needed. Call Kyle Robidoux, Director of Volunteer Support Services, Mass Commission for the Blind – 617 926 4312.

BROOKLINE’S EMERGENCY FOOD BANK: The Brookline Emergency Food Bank needs donations of instant coffee and tea, sugar, oil, flour, spices, pasta, canned tomatoes and sauce, canned soup, beans, vegetables, fruit (low salt and low sugar) dry beans, healthy snacks for kids, granola bars, and fruit cups. They also need toiletries such as: shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer and sunscreen (not covered by SNAP). Note: they are not allowing personal donations now.

Retirement Engagement Alternatives Program

The REAP program for Brookline senior residents 55 or 60 and above (depending on the program) is designed for people who wish to remain engaged and active in the community while in retirement or partial retirement. The goal of this program is to enhance the retirement experience by linking participants with either part-time paid or volunteer work in the community or at the (BSC) itself.

The BSC partners with several other local organizations to offer fulfilling and interesting opportunities. These include, but are not limited to: BrooklineCAN (BCAN), Senior Community Service Employment Program (SCSEP), Brookline Adult and Community Education, Executive Office of Elder Affairs and Various Brookline Town departments. In addition, opportunities exist for Tax Work-Off, and limited grant funded employment at the BSC for income qualified Brookline residents.

The REAP program provides the following free services: individual, confidential and free consultation around skills and interests, on-going skills based workshops and training for employment seekers, employer-employee matching service, consultation and matching for participants seeking meaningful volunteer opportunities and on-going opportunities to network and explore avenues and options for self-fulfillment in the retirement years. To enroll or for more information, call 617 730 2767 or email Deidre at dwaxman@brooklinema.gov

Brookline Seniors – Boomers & Beyond – are eligible to receive free individual help with resumes, cover letters and LinkedIn profiles as well as tips on phone, skype, in-person and mock interviews. To schedule an appointment, call Patricia at 617 730 2743 or email her at pburns@brooklinema.gov