Volunteers are a vital part of everything that Senior Services does, and we could not pursue our mission without a great many people generously giving their time, skills, and energy to improve the quality of life for people as they age in Thurston and Mason Counties. We offer a variety of volunteer opportunities. There’s something for everyone!
After you have filled out a volunteer application, if you have further questions, please contact Theresa Ziniewicz, Volunteer Manager, at theresaz@SouthSoundSeniors.org, 360.586.6181 ext 120.
Barbara co-shares the Receptionist position with Dolores at the Virgil Clarkson Lacey Senior Center to provide excellent member service. They keep the front desk organized and efficient, always with a smile and happy disposition.
Volunteering in Activities
There are several positions and opportunities available to volunteers in the Activities program! The Receptionist position welcomes people to the Olympia or Lacey Senior Center, answering inquiries, routing incoming calls, taking messages, recording membership registrations and renewals, filing, handling money, conducting tours, and other clerical tasks. General knowledge of programs and services is required. If you enjoy Hospitality, the Olympia and Lacey Senior Center have Coffee Bars where volunteers make coffee, offer snacks, keep the area clean and welcome visitors. Volunteers are also needed for the Dance Social, Enhanced Fitness Classes, Facilitators for Health and Wellness, Personal Growth Classes, The Arts, Support Groups and Special Services. Volunteer activities primarily take place Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm.
Sharon has given her heart and soul to delivering meals to homebound seniors. It's more than just a meal; she often visits with them and ensures they are all right. Sharon also communicates with Senior Services if the seniors have other important needs. She enjoys meeting new people, being part of a diversified community and paying-it-forward. Volunteering helps you see the glass half full and live through your heart.
Volunteering in Nutrition
There are many ways to volunteer as a Senior Nutrition volunteer. Meals on Wheels drivers pick up meals at one of our four kitchens during the week and deliver them to homebound seniors. Volunteers often connect with their MOW clients and take time to check in and visit. In the kitchen, volunteers can prepare and serve lunch. Help is also needed in the community dining room to set up, serve and clean up after lunch. Administration support is most appreciated in the Nutrition department and busy certain times of year with Farmer's Market Vouchers.
Brighter Days Adult Program
Ellen loves to garden and shared her knowledge of plants with the Brighter Days participants through two sensory experiences with plants, one focused on the sense of touch and another focused on the sense of smell. Her experience working with developmental disabilities serves her well at Brighter Days. Ellen likes working in the Brighter Days program because of the way it operates with both efficiency and kindness.
Volunteering in Brighter Days Adult Program
Program Assistants help staff with fun, enrichment activities, entertainment, exercise, dining and personal care for people with dementia-related diseases and other disabilities. Shifts include Monday - Friday, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm. Training and support are provided by staff.Location for the Brighter Days program are the Virgil Clarkson Lacey Senior Center (Lacey) and Faith Lutheran Church (Shelton). We also welcome entertainers, musicians, story tellers or anyone who has a gift to share that would like to occasionally drop in!
For Mary, there is a great satisfaction knowing that she helps seniors get to vital medial appointments, trips to the grocery store so a senior has food in their house, and to the Senior Centers. It's a great way to make a difference and meet new friends.
Volunteering in Transportation
Volunteers provide rides to seniors who live in Thurston County and no longer can drive or use or access public transportation such as Dial-a-Lift or Intercity Transit. Transportation is offered for medical appointments, Senior Services programs and essential errands, such as grocery shopping, visits to the pharmacy or other professional appointments! Rides are available Monday thru Friday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. Volunteers use Senior Services’ vehicles or their own vehicle.
Serving his country for 38 years, Ken attended military college in Georgia, enlisted in the army and worked for the National Guard. He taught, repaired radios and was an imagery analyst. A decorated military vet, Ken comes to the Olympia Senior Center daily to visit with friends in the lobby, read and spend time on the computer. Using his 'command' voice, Ken calls out numbers for seniors waiting to receive complimentary bread distributed at the center.
Volunteering in Client Services
There is a wide range of volunteer opportunities in Client Services. Statewide Health Insurance Benefit Advisors (SHIBA) volunteers answer questions and counsel people of all ages about their Medicare choices and options, prescription drugs, and other programs that may help cover your Medicare premiums and out-of-pocket costs. Sharing Teens & Elders Project (STEP) is a multi-generational program where teens and elders gather to bridge the generations through conversation. Senior Advocates and Social Workers at the Olympia and Lacey Senior Centers help seniors 60 and older navigate local community resources for food, medical, housing, finances, transportation and monitoring and advocating for the well-being and safety of community seniors who are vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. The Inclusion Program for seniors with intellectual disabilities is looking for volunteers to provide resources and support relationships that enrich and enhance their lives. Weekday activities include recreational and educational programs. Food Bank volunteers help unload, set up and distribute food monthly at both senior centers.
Judy volunteers at our annual auction held in September. She helps sell the jewelry raffle bags to raise a lot of money to support other seniors. Judy says the auction is fun, a way to see old friends and make new ones, enjoy great food and wonderful auction items.
Volunteering in Development
The Development/Marketing Department is a great place to volunteer if you like to have a variety of ever-changing projects. Some of the marketing duties include coordinating and sending out appeal mailings, data-entry, updating our donor data base, phone calls, flyer distribution, pre-event preparations and staffing fundraising events like the annual auction.
Pat's background in retail was a perfect fit for Budd Bay Bargains. She helps sort items that come in, keeps the store looking neat and greets customers with a friendly smile at the counter. When she's not ringing up sales, Pat also does administrative tasks for development.
Volunteering in Retail
Budd Bay Bargains is a one-of-a-kind thrift store featuring some of the best clothing, shoes, jewelry and accessory deals in town. The Estate Store, a unique antique store, features furniture, dishes, household décor, collectibles and jewelry. These retail stores help raise funds for our programs to benefit seniors. Strong customer skills, cash handling, merchandising or appraising experience are desirable. One shift weekly for three months is preferred.
Nancy volunteers for the Thurston County Food Bank Distribution at the Lacey Senior Center once a month and twice a year at The Best Rummage Sale on Earth! She loves going through all the many donations and organizing everything. Thank goodness for people like Nancy who actually like to clear out clutter from drawers, closets, shelves and garages. According to Nancy, it’s nice to see all the things people don’t want go to people who can use them.
Volunteering in Special Events
If you prefer a flexible volunteer schedule and like the excitement of Special Events, please consider signing up for Bingo Nights, The Best Rummage Sale on Earth, Fashion Show & Tea, OysterFest, Meals That Matter, Happy Hour or other fundraisers. Depending on the special event, both day, evening and weekend positions are available. Tasks normally include setup and cleanup of event spaces, decorating, admissions, cash-handling, serving food and drinks, concessions, etc.
Trips & Tours
Upon retirement, Nora was looking for some fun! She loves helping people find adventure, make new friends and learn about new places. It provides a chance to use her professional skill set and challenge herself with the wide range of components to the position.
Volunteering in Trips & Tours
The Trips & Tours office is is located in the Olympia Senior Center and open to the public Monday thru Friday, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm. Volunteers offer information about trips, answer phone inquiries, make reservations and handle other administration tasks. Traveler's Tea is a quarterly presentation about upcoming trips held at the Lacey Senior Center. Volunteers can assist with the Tea and registration. There are also opportunities to be a Tour Guide as well as a Trips Driver (additional requirements apply). This is a great way to learn about the many activities, events and places that the Pacific NW has to offer and beyond!
Cyndi is passionate about serving seniors. If we take the time to listen to them, we can learn so much from their experiences and knowledge. Already very busy running four businesses, Cyndi still makes time to volunteer and give back as a board member.
Volunteering in Administration
Senior Services is always looking for those individuals who are committed to making a difference and impact in our community. We look for those with special contributions to the board that include professional skills, networking, resources and time. Board members are elected by the current Board, with a goal to recruit members that bring a balance and diversity to our current Board. Meetings are held on the fourth Thursday of the month at 5:30 pm usually at the Olympia Senior Center.