Give 5 is an innovative, community-based program designed for Springfield and Greene County residents to ensure our community’s retirees and seniors continue to have purpose and relevance in their lives, while applying their talents and passions to our community’s primary areas of need.
This will be done via a program that will offer a fun, social opportunity for our “guests” to experience a “taste testing” of the many and varied volunteer opportunities within our community.
The Give 5 program will celebrate our seniors and their many contributions to our community, and will do so in a very public manner.
What if there was a program in Springfield and Greene County that would ...
match retirees and senior citizens with unfilled volunteer opportunities in our community;
address the issues of isolation, purpose, and relevance that senior citizens often confront by celebrating them and their contributions in a fun and social manner;
introduce seniors to new people and new ways of thinking via a shared experience and the bonding that occurs as a result, thus strengthening our community’s “bridging” social capital; and
potentially, as a by-product, link individuals with their true passions within our community’s menu of non-profit organizations?
Why Is this Program Needed?
Because the future health and vitality of our community depends on it.
With an army of skilled seniors already retired, and a massive wave of Baby Boomers retiring over the next few decades, the communities that figure out effective matchmaking will be the ones that thrive and offer the highest quality of life. Communities have a wide variety of needs, such as . . .
some of our non-profits need access to experienced leaders and technical expertise
some children need mentors, access to education, and safe havens
some young professionals and entrepreneurs need mentorship and access to expertise, institutional knowledge, and wisdom
the City and County need talented, passionate volunteers to serve on a variety of boards and commissions
volunteers are needed to assist those most in need – the homeless, children, the under-resourced
Existing senior citizens and the coming wave of Baby Boomer retirees have a wide variety of skills and assets, including . . .
A desire to give back to their community
And for the first time in their lives – time
We will focus on:
Celebrating ... retirees and their contributions to our community
Transitioning ... helping retirees disengage from their “work life” – the only life most have ever known – and transition to learn to enjoy their retirement, while also making their retirement more fulfilling
Engaging ... helping retirees find their true passion, and help them connect with volunteer opportunities that match and feed their passion and ensure the feel relevant
How “Give 5” Will Work
We will ask each participant to participate in five or six program days as part of their “class.” Each class will consist of 25 participants. Each program day will last approximately six hours. Thus, we are asking for a commitment of 25-30 hours to complete the entire program.
The five or six program days for each class will be hosted over approximately 6-8 weeks and will be posted in advance so potential participants can check their availability and select the class that best accommodates their schedule.
During each program day, class participants will learn, bond, and have fun together. Based on our experience with similar programs, the social aspect of the class will likely spawn new friendships, expanding our community’s social capital.
Multiple classes of participants will be hosted each year. During the one-year pilot project (July 1, 2017 – June 30, 2018), our goal is to host at least five classes (125 individuals).
At least one “sherpa” will be with the class at all times and will coordinate and guide each program day.
Each program day will expose the class participants to a variety of volunteer opportunities. A bus will transport the class and their sherpa(s) to various locations on each program day. Each class session will be designed to be as interactive as possible, to be fun and social, and to allow class participants to “see behind the curtain” to better understand the types of volunteer opportunities available and why they are so important to our community. Each host organization will be responsible for presenting their volunteer opportunities in the most informative and interesting way.
It is anticipated that class participants will learn as much from each other as they do from the program. It is also anticipated that class participants will meet new people through this program, addressing both the concern for isolation, but also promoting exposure to a diverse set of people and ideas.
At the end of the last program day for each class, a “graduation” ceremony will be hosted that will (a) signal an end to the “taste testing” portion of the program, (b) encourage all participants to consider whether they want to pursue a volunteer opportunity as a result of the program, and (c) celebrate any class members who wish to commit at that time to any volunteer opportunity as a result of exposure during the program (volunteer signing ceremony).
Upon graduation from the Give 5 program, graduates will become members of an exclusive “club” and will be publicly celebrated and valued. These graduates will intuitively become ambassadors for (a) the myriad volunteer opportunities in the community and (b) the Give 5 program.