Last time out, I gave a blatant plea for volunteers and here's a follow-up ... unashamedly and without apology. We (communities) need volunteers in order to remain a community. And there are a lot of folks out there (here) that volunteer in amazing ways. One of the cool things is that many volunteers don't even think of themselves as "volunteers." They're just helping out.

It goes back to one of last week's volunteer points: "I can't give that much time." As we pointed out, the time could be an hour a week, five hours a week, three hours every other week or whatever works for you. I think sometimes the issue is the term volunteer itself, sounds real close to "employee." We've all experienced giving our time and energy to something and watching it evolve into that dreaded word - expectation. Since a large number of our community volunteers are retired, they've been there and done that. They just want to help out. Does this sound like you?

Some folks who have helped out in the past have contacted us, asked what areas are available to assist in, picked their interests, then told us when they could be available. That works - and rather well, too.

Others have contacted us and simply said "I have an hour or so a week I can use to help other folks. Use me where you need me - until winter when I snowbird down south."

And still others we've reached out to and asked: "How'd you like to do some volunteer work?" (Like now, with this column. How about it?)

One other point mentioned last week spoke to the very practical question: What type of work would I be doing? Working with people in finding Social Security supplemental insurances was noted. And working with people on accessing Medicare Part D benefits was also noted. Other areas?

Benefits Checkup: Working with people to access a statewide resource program which is easy to approach and takes minimal information to run. It also takes only a few minutes to complete. A great broad stroke approach to finding which services may be available to you - and others.

Medicare Part D: Working with people who are becoming eligible for Medicare access the Part D prescription benefit. (Yes - we did that. Guess what? We'll be doing it again and again and again.)

Prescription Assistance: Working with people to investigate and apply for reduced prescription costs through the pharmaceutical companies.

Veterans Programs: Working with people to find, access and learn about what VA resources are available in the area.

General Assistance: Working with people to explore what's needed and helping them access various services and/or agencies.

And anything else that deals with senior issues: Working with people ... It works!

Senior Information & AssistanceLong Beach: 642-3634 or 888-571-6558

Raymond: 942-2177 or 888-571-6557

O3A Web site: www.o3a.org

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