A team of Leadership Lincoln Fellows XXXIII participants is working to engage more older adult volunteers with causes who could benefit from their talents and strengths. The project includes both a survey of older adults and a volunteer fair aimed specifically at senior citizens in Lincoln.
“Each year we challenge each of our classes to conceptualize and coordinate a service project,” noted Mick Hale, Executive Director of Leadership Lincoln. “In the past we’ve had teams create gardens, clean up parks and even make smart phone apps. We find it’s a great way to encourage our graduates to really get involved in the community.”
Just Ask Volunteer team members are: Amanda Barker, Civic Nebraska; Kyle Cech, Crete Carrier; Denine Erlemeier, State Farm Insurance; Jeremy Gregg, Lincoln Fire and Rescue; Stacy Guevara, Ameritas; Martha Hakenkamp, Aging Partners; Emily Koenig, Lincoln Electric System; Len Sloup, Nebraska Revenue Department (retired), and Scott Thayer, Budget Blinds. The diverse nature of the group illustrates one of the benefits of Leadership Lincoln, bringing people from all walks of life together to make Lincoln a better place.
The Just Ask Volunteer Fair is co-sponsored by Leadership Lincoln Fellows, Aging Partners, VolunteerLinc, and Gateway Mall.
The Volunteer Fair is an idea that grew out of a survey of senior citizens the team conducted. Hakenkamp noted “Almost 80% of all respondents (of any age) were highly motivated to volunteer as a way of giving back.” Gateway Mall will be transformed into a Volunteer Fair to give senior citizens, retirees and their families an opportunity to learn more about volunteer activities on Tuesday, May 15, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm near the Center Court of the mall. Representatives from 35 of Lincoln's non-profit organizations will be on hand to explain the needs they have and assist people in signing up to volunteer their time.
“I’ve found a lot of people are reluctant to take the first step to volunteer for an organization,” Sloup said. “But if an organization asks them, they’d be glad to help. Conversely, we are also hoping to encourage retirees to ‘Just Ask’ organizations that they have an interest in about volunteer opportunities.”