Seniors helping seniors at 7 local centers

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Connie George
Members of the Indio Senior Center’s Stitches for Kids group, which creates bedding for the Visiting Nurses Association, show that volunteerism can extend beyond center staff positions and involve service to the broader community.
Photo courtesy of Mizell Senior Center

Members of the Coachella Valley’s seven senior centers have learned that a wealth of services, along with social, educational and recreational outlets, are available to adults 50 and over for only a small annual fee, if any.

Clubs, classes, health screenings, financial and legal assistance, shared meals, parties, entertainment, etc. — the list of resources at these critical facilities is endless.

Yet, according to administrative staff at each, none could continue to provide services at such reasonable rates if not for their reliable teams of volunteers. Their volunteers, in turn, experience the social and intellectual benefits of contributing their skills to a valuable operation.

At present, openings exist at all the centers for new team members to fill key positions or to serve as on-call volunteers when others are temporarily called away. Here are some of the opportunities.

Desert Hot Springs Senior Center

The Desert Hot Springs Senior Center needs substitutes to staff its front desk, assistants in the Nutrition Division who can obtain a food handler’s license, clerks for its Happy Bargains thrift store, and individuals with special talents who can teach classes.

With only four paid staff members, “This whole place is dependent on volunteers,” said Center Manager Erin Begley. “It’s proven that if you get out and socialize and improve your community, you’ll have a healthier aging process” yourself.

The Desert Hot Springs Senior Center is at 11777 West Dr., Desert Hot Springs. For more information on the center and its volunteer needs, call Begley at (760) 329-6411, ext. 213, or visit www.cityofdhs.org/senior_center.

Mizell Senior Center

The Mizell Senior Center needs front desk receptionists, a music host, a resale store clerk, and assistance with mass mailing projects.

“Mizell Senior Center has been serving the greater Palm Springs area for over 35 years and is the community focal point on healthy and active aging,” said Volunteer and Events Coordinator Thomas Hengy. “This is a place where active seniors can come together for service and activity that enhances dignity, supports independence and encourages involvement in and with the community.”

The Mizell Senior Center is at 480 S. Sunrise Way, Palm Springs. For more information on the center and its volunteer needs, call Hengy at (760) 323-5689, ext. 117, or visit www.mizellseniorcenter.org.

Cathedral Center

The Cathedral Center needs help with its monthly rummage sales on the second Friday of every month. Volunteers are also needed on the previous Thursday afternoon to prepare items for sale.

“We couldn’t run this place without the volunteers,” said Program Director Judie Stone. “They’re the backbone of the place.”

The Cathedral Center is at 37171 W. Buddy Rogers Ave., Cathedral City. For more information on the center and its volunteer needs, call Stone at (760) 321-1548 or visit www.ccsenior.webs.com.

Joslyn Center

The Joslyn Center needs front desk receptionists for its newly expanded hours, serving on Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings, and also delivery drivers for its Meals on Wheels program.

Volunteers “are a great support for us because without them, the center would not operate as efficiently as it does,” said Volunteer Coordinator Edie Willard. “They like the social aspect as well as what they can do for the center.”

The Joslyn Center is at 73750 Catalina Way, Palm Desert. For more information on the center and its volunteer needs, call Willard at (760) 340-3220, ext. 103, or visit www.joslyncenter.org.

La Quinta Senior Center

The La Quinta Senior Center needs volunteers to monitor its open-use computer room and to provide simple computer assistance, drivers to support its bread delivery, and general help with its Wii bowling programs.

“When you help others, you lighten your heart and you help yourself,” said Recreation Coordinator Caroline Doran.

The La Quinta Senior Center is at 78450 Avenida La Fonda, La Quinta. For more information on the center and its volunteer needs, call Doran at (760) 564-0096 or visit www.bit.ly/laquintaseniorcenter.

Indio Senior Center

The Indio Senior Center needs back-up staff for all of its programs and departments, as well as teachers for additional classes.

“We would not be able to run the center without our over 100 volunteers,” said Community Program Administrator Nancy Vance. “Some of the things they do are lead and teach classes or groups, help at the front desk, and serve at lunches and parties.”

The Indio Senior Center is at 45700 Aladdin St., Indio. For more information on the center and its volunteer needs, call Vance at (760) 391-4170 or visit www.bit.ly/indioseniorcenter.

Coachella Senior Center

The Coachella Senior Center needs help monitoring its coffee stations, decorating for special events, assisting receptions, and providing back-up for the front desk.

As with many other senior centers, volunteers in Coachella are recognized at annual gratitude events. “The [recognition] luncheons are really nice and held at country clubs,” said Senior Center Coordinator Maria Arcos.

The Coachella Senior Center is at 1540 Seventh St., Coachella. For more information on the center and its volunteer needs, call Arcos at (760) 398-0104 or visit www.bit.ly/coachellaseniorcenter.