Volunteerism - a precious resource we cannot afford to lose

January is volunteering and helping others month.

Many seniors have had fulfilling lives, got married, raised a family and at the same time, were able to have successful careers prior to retiring.

Most seniors have entered the golden years and may feel they are now missing out on something. Many of them are resigned to the fact of just sitting around the home and are watching life go by. There is that empty void in their lives and hearts they can’t figure out how to fill.

The time has come for those inactive seniors to get up off the sofas and out of their recliners and get involved. There is life after raising a family and after retiring. It is called giving back to the community by volunteering time to those in need.

Numerous businesses, churches, charities, nonprofit organizations and even government agencies would love to have senior citizens help them by volunteering. Volunteering does not necessarily have to be an eight-hour day, five-day a week job. It can be as little as a couple of hours at a time or as many hours as the volunteers want to invest in the community.

It would be a daunting task to mention every charity, nonprofit organization that is in need of volunteers. Here are a few diversified organizations (none necessarily more important than any other) that are well worth mentioning and they are in need of this most precious resource – volunteering time. They are:

Kingman Regional Medical Center

Kingman Regional Medical Center Volunteer Services is looking for caring, compassionate people with time on their hands and a desire to make a difference. Their volunteers range in age from 14 through the early 80s.

Some of the many volunteer positions available at KRMC include nursing unit team volunteers to provide comfort and support for their patients; courtesy cart drivers, who provide courtesy shuttle service on the KRMC campus; gift shop retail clerks; information desks; escorting and transporting patients; and volunteers in most other areas of KRMC.

For information about volunteering at KRMC, contact Kelli Truver at 928-692-4673.

Mohave County Sheriff’s Office

The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office (MCSO) is looking for citizens who are interested in becoming a member of the Posse. The Posse is a team of trained citizens who volunteer their time to assist the Sheriff’s Office with non-enforcement duties and services.

The volunteer work performed by Posse members allow deputies the time to focus on crime prevention and enforcement of state and county laws. Posse members do not take law enforcement action, carry weapons or make arrests.

As members, volunteers will take pride in knowing that they are making a difference in their community by assisting in reducing crime and helping to create a positive relationship between the community and law enforcement.

Posse members receive training in crime prevention, introduction to law, driver awareness, patrol procedures, traffic control and radio communications. Interested citizens must meet the following qualifications: 18 years of age or older, have a positive attitude toward law enforcement, possess good moral character, have a good driving record, no felony convictions, must be a current U.S. citizen, have a valid Arizona driver’s license, pass a background check and pass an oral board.

For further information about the MCSO Posse or volunteering, stop by the Sheriff’s Office in Kingman at 600 W. Beale Street and pick up an application and/or call Deputy Troy Schmotzer at 928-753-0756.

The Cornerstone Mission Project

The Cornerstone Mission Project is multifaceted nonprofit organization that includes the Kingman homeless shelter, men's shelter, feeding the hungry in Mohave County, and the Arizona Soup Kitchen.

“Our facility has the capability of housing up to 30 men, and 11 women and children,” said Executive Director Lisa Beauchamp. “We prepare and serve between 70 and 100 meals each day for walk-ins in need of a hot meal. We are really in desperate need for people to work in the soup kitchen. We only had eight days of volunteer cooks available last month and the staff members had to jump into the role of cooks to fill the void of not enough volunteer cooks.”

The Cornerstone Mission Project is continually in the need for volunteers to help complete the mission. The volunteers needed include: front desk persons, errand runners, someone to help run the clothing closet, drivers for Diana's Faith House;, Narcotics Anonymous facilitator and Christian 12 Step facilitator at the men's shelter.

For further information about Cornerstone Mission Project or to volunteer, call Beauchamp at 928-757-1535.

For the Luv of Paws

The domestic animal rescue and sanctuary For the Luv of Paws is one of the many animal shelters in northwest Mohave County.

The rescue and sanctuary currently has the capacity to house 120 cats and 60 dogs. “We take in domestic animals that are no longer wanted by families, rescue animals from various county animal shelters, owner surrenders and strays,” said Founder, Director and Treasurer Cherie DaLynn.

There is a constant need for volunteer help at For the Luv of Paws. Needed are: walking, brushing, bathing dogs, cat care, cleaning catteries, food/water, litter boxes interacting with cats, blaze trails for dog walking, grounds keeping, and unpacking, doing inventory, boxing donations, helping out at Paws-itively Charming, the thrift shop in downtown Kingman; at adoption events, cat care at the Kingman Petco store and other positions at The Luv Of Paws.

For further information about For the Luv of Paws or to volunteer, call DaLynn at 928-897-7304.

Various Senior Citizen’s Centers & Organizations

Just about every senior citizen’s center and organization is always seeking volunteers to help out. They include, but are not limited to: Katherine Heidenreich Adult Center in Kingman, 928-757-2778; Bullhead City Senior Center, 928-763-0193; Lake Havasu Senior Center in Lake Havasu City, 928-453-0715; and Golden Shores Senior Center in Golden Shores, 928-768-2421.

Mohave County Library District

If seniors would like to help at one of the county’s libraries, they should contact the library in their respective area. The Mohave County Library District has 10 locations and include: Kingman, 928- 692-2665; Bullhead City 928-758-0714, Lake Havasu City, 928-453-0718; Chloride, 928-565-2200; Dolan Springs, 928-767-4292; Golden Shores/Topock, 928-768-2235; Golden Valley, 928-565-2989; Meadview – (928) 564-2535; South Mohave Valley, 928-768-1151; and Valle Vista, 928-692-7662.

There are other fraternal, civic and government agencies, nonprofit organizations and churches that are more than willing to accept help from volunteers. It doesn’t take much effort to find a place that needs help. Pick up a phonebook and be part of the volunteer force that makes a difference.

About The Author: Butch Meriwether is a retired United States Marine and freelance photojournalist who dedicates his free time helping charities, nonprofit organizations and others to publicize their good deeds. He is also the volunteer photographer and public information officer for the Golden Valley Fire District and is a member of the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Kingman Unit.

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