For 25 years Salt Lake County has been extending a special RSVP. The invitation is to join the Retired & Senior Volunteer Program.
Those who are 55 and older are invited to take part sharing time and talents with some 60 local organizations or "stations." The stations where one can volunteer include medical centers as well as nonprofit agencies.For Ann Mayne, volunteering was the way to create a new life after her husband died unexpectedly. Mayne's husband was a Methodist minister who had been assigned to lead the First United Methodist Church in Salt Lake City. The Maynes had spent 40 years in the Houston area serving different churches. But shortly after the move to Utah, Mayne found herself alone in a new city where the only people she knew were her son, daughter-in-law and grandchildren.
"After four months, I wondered what am I going to do with the rest of my life?" Mayne said in a telephone interview. She read that the American Cancer Society needed volunteers and she immediately signed on. She's been volunteering there for five years.
Mayne said that a couple of months after agreeing to work with the American Cancer Society, she saw a flier at the Murray City Library with the letters RSVP. "I walked over there, read it and saw they were asking for retired and senior volunteers. I called and I've been there ever since," she said. Mayne compiles the monthly reports detailing volunteer hours and reimbursements.
Having two volunteer jobs is not the full extent of Mayne's work, though. She is president of the United Methodist Women in Salt Lake City working to increase opportunities for women, youth and children. "It's a very active group," Mayne said. "Along with my church work, I like both of my volunteer stations. "I find that my health, my emotional state and my contentment are improved through volunteering. This opportunity to serve has made me feel comfortable here, satisfied here and at home here," Mayne said.
"There is no need to stay home and watch TV and be depressed," she related, "If you're physically able to get out, there's always something a person can do whether small or large."
Mayne wonders how the many organizations in Salt Lake could exist without help. "There is such a crying need for volunteers," she noted. The transplanted Texan said she loves the work. "I don't have to be there from 9-4, I can work my own hours. You know, you give and you are given, too."
For more information about the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, call Salt Lake County Aging Services at 468-2490.