We're wrapping up National Volunteer Month this week and also celebrating Global Intergenerational Week! Now in its third year, this annual worldwide campaign connects everyone who is passionate about everything intergenerational. We're thrilled to profile some volunteers who participate in DOROT's varied intergenerational work.
Our final volunteer profile is Dan Joiner! Dan has been a DOROT volunteer for about a year with our Intergenerational Programs -- all over Zoom! Get to know Dan below:
How did you get involved with DOROT?
I read a search for older adults who were willing to volunteer to work with students through an advertisement.
What type of volunteer activities do you do at DOROT?
Mine has been completely on Zoom; beginning with Virtual Conversation with two students last summer, becoming the subject of a Legacy Project, with my life told though an art form. I took two workshops in Art, a Creative Conversations about Breaking Down Bias, Music, LGBTQ+, Affinity Group, and several others. I also volunteered with a couple of school groups on Zoom through DOROT. All my volunteer work has been on Zoom, and I’ve happily done nearly all I’ve been invited to do.
How do you fit volunteering into your schedule?
I’ve nothing but ‘free time’ during COVID, being isolated. DOROT Volunteer work has given me a reason to look forward to, be cleaned up for, camera ready, and attend an always fun and learning Zoom meeting. It’s the only way I see and talk ‘face to unmasked face’.
What is something you learned as a DOROT volunteer?
I’ve learned how smart and mature the students in these workshops have been, quickly adding; How kind and knowledgeable the workshop facilitators have been, as well as being inspired by fellow Seniors.
What is your most memorable volunteer moment with DOROT?
In a workshops chat room, I listened as the students told of their classes, what they were, and how they were doing in them. I shared that in High School I was a miserable student. I had no interest in any of my academic classes. Though I liked English, I could not spell (still can’t). Literature I enjoyed; writing misspelled papers, even with good content, did not produce high grades. I excelled only in Art, Music, and Theatre… The students in the group knew I’d had four major careers in my life, one of them being an Actor, performing in Musicals, a career lasting longer than teaching. One student said to me…“but the classes you excelled in, served you well…” She was right, that simple sentence, riddled with truth, erased decades of High School transcript shame.
What would you want other volunteers to know about volunteering at DOROT?
I think DOROT is playing a secret game on both sides…telling Teens they are helping Seniors while Seniors are told they are volunteering to help Teens… each group inspiring, learning, and helping each other.
Learn more about volunteering HERE!