In fact, the Day Center was awarded the 2016 Community Service Award by the North Shore Elder Services, recognizing the hard work of both staff and participants.

For some participants, simply attending the Day Center is not enough. By creating interactive and participatory volunteer programs tailored to the individual’s requests and abilities, clients become active members of a community.

For example, clients and staff volunteer on behalf of the Salem Children’s Hospital and Toys for Local Children collecting books, toys, coloring utensils and other donated gifts. They are responsible not only for advertising the donation drive by creating and hanging up signs, but also for recruiting other family members and friends to become involved with the event. As a result, the participants become involved in a worthwhile community cause.

Some clients help the North Shore Animal Center collect newspapers for animal bedding, bake doggie cookies and gather towels and sheets for the animals to use at the shelter. These goodies are happily delivered to the animal shelter where they are then put to good use.

Participants often take the lead in running the Bingo games by passing out and collecting cards as well as reading the numbers. Others take it upon themselves to collect signatures for birthday and get well cards. Additionally, some participants contribute to the Day Center by rolling together napkins, spoons and forks on a daily basis—usually forty or more at one time (while wearing gloves, of course!).

These are just a few of the community building volunteering activities that allow Day Center clients to become an integral part of their community. It’s obvious that they truly enjoy being helpful and useful to others. Participants meet new friends and chat with old ones, all the while remaining active and happy. At times, the Shapiro-Rudolph Adult Day Center feels much like a busy social club!

This blog is courtesy of Margarita Kuksin, Activity Director for the Shapiro-Rudolph Adult Day Center in Peabody, MA.

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