Volunteer Opportunities with the Somerset County Office on Aging & Disability Services
Are you looking for an opportunity to make a difference in people’s lives? Are you seeking a sense of meaning or purpose in your life? If you answered, “Yes,” then volunteering may be what you are looking for.
Read on to learn about the many ways volunteers serve through the Office on Aging & Disability Services.
Volunteers may serve:
- At Senior Centers in several capacities.
- As Wellness Programs instructors.
- As SHIP counselors who help people with medical insurance questions.
Please read below for details on these opportunities.
Senior Center Volunteer Opportunities :
The Somerset County Office on Aging and Disability Services operates six centers where people age 60 and above participate in a wide variety of programs for wellness, education, and lifelong enrichment. The centers offer lunch to enhance guests’ opportunities to meet and mingle with others and also have the following variety of volunteer and community service opportunities available Monday through Friday:
Program/Activity Leaders: (One-hour morning classes can be scheduled on the hour, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and running through 2:00 p.m.)
- Teach art classes (i.e., watercolor/acrylics/sculpture/calligraphy/basics of drawing/etc.).
- Teach Bridge, Mahjong, Canasta, Pinochle, or other specialty mind stimulating games.
- Lead a dance class.
- Teach how to play pool (rules of the game, techniques, tips, etc.).
- Present programs on history, music, science, literature, culture, or special hobbies.
- Teach Computer Classes (at the following senior centers: Warrenbrook, Quail Brook, Senior Wellness Center – Basking Ridge).
- Entertain (music, singing, dancing).
Wellness Program Volunteer Instructors: (45-minute to one-hour long classes can be scheduled on the hour, beginning at 9:00 a.m. and running through 3:00 p.m.)
- Yoga (chair or standing) *
- Tai Chi *
- Zumba Gold *
- Functional Fitness *
- Pilates *
Peer-Led Evidence-Based Programs (i.e., Project Healthy Bones, Self-Management Programs, A Matter of Balance, Move Today) FREE training/materials provided
Administrative Service Volunteers: (Time Slots: 9:00 a.m. – 12 noon; 12 noon – 4:00 p.m.)
- Serve as the center’s receptionist to answer phones, greet clients, take lunch reservations, etc.
- Write promotional blurbs about upcoming special events to enhance the center’s monthly calendar.
- Call clients to promote upcoming events.
- Assist with computer projects.
Food Service Volunteers:
- 8:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. - help pack meals for the Meals on Wheels program.
- 10:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. - portion and serve lunch at one of the centers.
- 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. - bus tables; assist with after lunch clean up.
Please note: Food Service volunteers must abide by a dress code for safety and sanitation reasons. Be sure to discuss this when signing up to volunteer.
Youth Volunteer Opportunities:
Note: Volunteers under age 17 must be accompanied by an adult age 18 or older.
- During summer vacations, help package meals in senior center kitchens for homebound elderly. (Note: Inquire about dress code required by the health department. Must be age 16 or older to perform food service duties).
- During summer vacations, help maintain gardens at selected senior centers – water plants, pull weeds, deadhead spent flowers, etc.
- During school vacations, share your talent by performing at one or more senior centers (i.e., vocal, instrumental, dance, martial arts, etc.). Performances are scheduled Monday through Friday at 11:00 a.m.. Please schedule 1 – 2 months in advance.
- Create greeting cards for homebound elderly. Cards should be free of glitter or items that can detach from the card.
- Clip manufacturer coupons that will be delivered to overseas military bases (Overseas Military Coupon Project).
It is best to select a regular day or days for your volunteer service so that the centers can more effectively schedule work and necessary volunteer coverage.
How to Get Involved:
To volunteer for any senior center opportunities, please call Sheetal Bhatia at 908-704-6346 to discuss your volunteer interests and availability.
Volunteer SHIP Counselors (State Health Insurance Assistance Program):
SHIP counselors receive FREE training to help people:
- Understand Medicare benefits.
- Select Supplemental coverage plans.
- Select Medicare Part D (Drug) plans.
- Apply for Pharmaceutical assistance plans such as PAAD.
- Compare retirement benefits to Medicare-approved individual plans.
- Appeal benefit denials.
- Handle other related situations.
If interested in becoming a SHIP counselor, please contact George Harlan at 908-704–6319.