Fred Shatsky is our guest for today’s episode. Fred is a 77-year-old retiree who has been married for 50 years. He is a proud father and grand father of two sons and two grandchildren. Fred was a US Naval Officer and worked as a pharmacist for 35 years. Now he volunteers for the USS Midway Carrier Museum and the San Diego Zoo. He is also a member of Get Off Your Rockers.
I asked Fred how he found his volunteer position. Sometimes it is always easy to know where to look or where to start when you want to begin volunteering. Fred suggest looking online as there is many volunteering opportunities
For Fred, it was a matter of good luck and good timing in his situation. Fred’s interest in the USS Midway Carrier Museum started as a nostalgia thing. He saw an advertisement for volunteers.
At the time, he didn’t know exactly what he was volunteering for but knew he was interested.
He is now a docent for the USS Midway Carrier Museum. He spends his time interacting with people, guiding tours and volunteering in other capacities.
What is a docent?
A docent is a member of a teaching staff or someone who acts as a guide, typically on a volunteer basis, in a museum, art gallery, or zoo.
Fred is also part of the Knot Team at the Museum. They tie survival paracord bracelets and sell them for donations on weekends and Holiday's. They have raised over $50,000 for K-12 scholarships.
What is the USS Midway Carrier Museum?
The USS Midway Museum is a maritime museum located in downtown San Diego, California at Navy Pier. The museum is centered around the aircraft carrier Midway. The ship includes a widespread collection of aircraft. I personally have been there several times and it is amazing! It is definitely worth visiting if you are even in San Diego.
Advice to someone in a small rural area wanting to volunteer:
Start by looking online
Reach out to friends
Fred says there are four factors to his good retirement
What is Get Off Your Rockers?
Get Off Your Rockers is an organization for seniors that provide opportunities to volunteer with organizations such as the Sand Diego Food Bank, Habitat for Humanity and various other charities.
Ellen Williamson retired in 2007 after 36 years of Federal service with the Department of Defense. She was also a professor for 15 years as a “jobby”. I love this combination of hobby and job, or a hobby with pay!
Anyway, she continues to consult with firms interested in Federal Government Acquisition on an ad hoc basis.
Although she has varied interests, including travel, hiking, charity and cultural events, we spent most of our time talking about a senior services club she belongs to called GetOffYourRockers.org.
I took the liberty of going on the website to see what this senior services club was all about. Here is a list of currently available activities:
Biking. Every Monday
Bowling. The second and fourth Thursdays
Foot Golf (I'd never heard of this before now!)
Hiking (once a month on Fridays)
Kayaking and Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Ushering (volunteering at a theatre)
Walking (every evening)
If you can't get your heart's desire with GOYR, then you are a tough nut to crack for sure!
Not only does this senior services club help her get out and do what she likes to do, but it also helps her keep in touch with friends, and make new ones.
In addition, it provides support for people who are recently retired, or just thinking about it. You can hang out with someone who's already retired, and you can talk to someone who can help you recognize that retirement doesn't have to be scary.
Ellen reminded me that change of any kind, including retirement, can take up to a year and a half to be OK with it.
We've had many guests say the same thing. I think joining a club like this is a great way to go.
But what if your town doesn't have a senior services club like GOYR? You can start one of your own. These days, Meetup makes it easy, and we've had other episodes that talk about Meetup. Go check them out and then start or join a club of your own.
Henry talks with Dorothy Nicol about her vintage dresses and gowns.
Dorothy is 87 years old. She has lived her entire life in the small town of Lismore which is located in Victoria Australia. She absolutely loves her hometown and she wanted to do something to help the town and the community when she retired.
Dorothy says her hobby is living in the 20th century
Dorothy has an amazing collection which includes thousands of 20th-century vintage dresses and gowns. She began collection many years ago and the collection grew so much, she needed more space! Henry and Dorothy talk about how she purchased a property she had cherished since she was a young girl, and turned it into a small tourist attraction. Sometimes Dorothy feels like she is unorganized because she has so many items! She admits she isn't like a boutique shop, she prefers the quaint, charming feeling of her store. She likes for people to come into her shop and be able to look around and touch the items. Touching most often is not allowed with vintage garments.
There are a lot of fascinating stories that go along with vintage dresses and gowns
Dorothy is very sentimental. You can hear her well up with emotion as she talks about these stores and the wonderful people she has met throughout the years.
Henry also takes a walk down memory lane with Dorothy as she reminisces about growing up in the town she loves so much. She began working at the age of 16 as a telephonist which was a manual switchboard Operator. She held that same job until she married in 1950 and never worked anywhere else. If you have seen old movies where the operators are pulling plus, that is what Dorothy did!.
She has never learned to use the computer and is full of nostalgia. She prefers a time when lives were a lot more uncomplicated and there was more of a community feeling.
I spoke with Tammie Ferguson who owns Love in Action Travel. Don't you just love that name? Tammie talks about socially responsible travel. Tammie created Love in Action travel for people who want to combine their love of travel with their passion for serving others and making a positive difference.
We spent a good amount of time talking about “Voluntourism” Trips. They plan itineraries to different countries such as Guatemala, Haiti, and Puerto Rico. People can sign up and join on the trip. These are 9-10 day itineraries with 5 days of that being spent building a home.
Some of the projects they work on are:
Habitat for Humanity global village home builds
Creating Healthy Home kits, including smokeless stoves and water filters
Why Responsible Travel?
Great opportunity to meet new people
Explore a different country
Learn a new skill
Although prices vary and can change, Tammie has a trip planned to Guatemala in June and the (2017) fee is $1,870. The trip fee includes meals, lodging, any cultural activities, ground transportation, the community service project that you will be involved in, and even travel medical insurance. You pay for the flight, money for souvenirs if you want any, and bring extra for that massage after all your hard work!
Tammie also talks about the other trips she plans which include Agritourism Experiences, Cultural Tours, and Fathom Cruises
There are things in the world that most folks just don’t think about.
Maybe till it is too late.
Janella Hodgson records the life stories of people as they approach the end of their life. Maybe they are terminally ill, or maybe they are simply aged and worn out.
She is a volunteer for Eastern Palliative Care, which is an organization that provides Palliative and Hospice services. These include home and nursing care to recording and transcribing the stories of people who have moved beyond medical help.
People want their story told. You'll find out their motivation, their reactions, and why Janella wanted to be a voluntary biographer.
You'll find answers to the question “Why are life stories important?”.
Interestingly, for the biographer a successful outcome for their work is not necessarily a published biography, nor is that the over-riding purpose of this program. But you are going to have to listen to the interview to sort that out.
Eastern Palliative Care is always looking for more biographers. They provide effective guidelines and comprehensive training to their volunteers to ensure their clients are safe and respected. This is obviously not something that appeals to the masses, but if you are one of those special people with empathy and a few skills, you can find more information by clicking on the link below and working your way to ‘Volunteers’ which you will find under the ‘Supporting EPC’ tag in the menu.
And as an aside, you may be able to contact a hospice or palliative care agency in your area to see if they are looking for volunteers to do this type of work where you live.
What do you think about these types of programs? Is this something you could do? Have you told your story yet? Did your loved one get to tell his life story? Let us know in the comments below!
Special Thanks to YOU for telling your friends about the show, leaving comments below, and sharing episodes you really like on Facebook, and reviewing the show on iTunes
Today Gary Knight came on the show and told us about San Diego Futures Foundation (SFFF). This organization helps seniors and low income individuals get computers at a reduced rate.
SDFF also teaches their recipients how to use the technology, which is often a hurdle in their target populations.
Gary Knight is the Executive Director of the San Diego Futures Foundation (SDFF), a 501(c)3 nonprofit established to improve lives in San Diego through technology. SDFF provides equipment, software, training, services, and technical support to San Diego nonprofits, small businesses, and disadvantaged residents. SDFF is working to bridge the digital divide in San Diego, and helps low-income households, people with disabilities, and seniors.
Prior to joining the San Diego Futures Foundation, Gary Knight was the president and chief executive officer of the San Diego North Economic Development Council. The council is a coalition of public and private entities whose main objective is to attract, retain and develop business in North County. It has almost doubled its membership since Knight took over in 2004. As president, Knight pushed for improved transportation options, greater educational opportunities, and reliable/affordable power supplies. Gary also provided strong support for the proposed desalination plant in Carlsbad and the new Palomar Hospital in Escondido.
Gary sits on a number of Boards, Committees, and Advisory Groups all across San Diego.
The organization not only helps those over 65 (and on Medicare) or those people of any age who are on Medi-Cal (California's version of Medicaid) or Cal-Fresh (California's version of Food Stamps) but it also helps anyone volunteer. Seniors can get a computer for little to no cost and then learn how to use it. SDFF gets seniors involved in technology.
This Technology program works by partnering with:
Connect to Compete
Designed for kids who are on the Free Lunch program
Groups of people who want to volunteer by setting up computer labs at schools
SDFutures.org which is part of SDFF and provides computers and IT support to non-profits
Girls who Code, a school program that encourages girls to go into technology fields
Are the computers FREE? No, because of some issues in the past, the computers are not free. These high-end computers start at about $100. Some people do get donated computers depending on the availability, need, and other factors. These low cost and free computers help get seniors involved in technology.
SDFF re-formats the donated computers according to Department of Defense Standards. They also send unusable computers to a salvage company that meets their security and disposal requirements. Additionally, their staff undergoes background checks. Donors can feel good about donating their computers without having to worry about their data getting into the wrong hands.
Hospital re-admittance rates are about 30% compared to only about 10% when the senior has something to look forward to. Working on a project or volunteering gives them something to look forward to.
Gary told us a retirement lifestyle story about a man who was in a wheelchair because of a leg amputation due to diabetes. He rolled up to Gary and exclaimed, “You saved my life!” That was interesting to Gary since he had never met him.
He explained that he had received one of their computers at a very low point in his life (right after his amputation). The gentleman had loved to work on cars and attend car shows before he lost his leg but was now confined to a wheelchair.
By using the computer to join chat rooms and view car events online, he felt invigorated again with a newfound purpose in life. By the time he met Gary, he had started a web site for car buffs where they shared stories that made him feel involved and contributing to something that was important to him. He was even doing live streaming and moderating a chat room! He's getting get seniors involved in technology now!
To help protect yourself and your family, I recommend that you download Gary's Freebie, The Cyber Safety Toolkit, by going to https://rockyourretirement.com/cyber
Get it now because seniors involved in technology need to protect themselves.
You can reach Gary at 619-269-1684 or http://www.SDFutures.org
Special Thanks to:
Angie Strehlow who helps us get great guests that help us with our retirement lifestyle while keeping everything on track…and helps with these show notes!
Les Briney, my husband, and Danny Ozment of Emerald City Pro who edits the show and makes my guests and me sound terrific
Henry Shapiro, host of Retired Excited that airs on Fridays
YOU for telling your friends about the show, leaving comments below, and sharing episodes you really like on Facebook, and reviewing the show on iTunes