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Community Connections: Volunteer opportunities

“You can retire from a job, but don’t ever retire from making extremely meaningful contributions in life.”  ~ Steven Covey

July in Minnesota — it is a time for patriotic celebrations, fairs and festivals, gardening, and enjoying summer outdoor adventures; in short, getting outside to enjoy every nice day as much as possible.  As we enjoy the special activities of summer, let us also take opportunity to be cognizant of and share with those who are experiencing challenging circumstances.   Listed below are a few of our current volunteer opportunities.

Upcoming Meetings and Events:

Disaster Preparedness for Seniors:  The American Red Cross will present to the Carlton County Council on Aging about Disaster Preparedness for Seniors.  The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. Monday, July 27, at Volunteer Services of Carlton County, 199 Chestnut Ave., Ste, 3, Carlton.  Please share the news and join us to hear more about important keys to remain safe in the event of an emergency or disaster.

Outstanding Senior Citizen of the Year Award:  Nominations are being sought for the 2015 Outstanding Senior Citizen Award for Carlton County.  The award recognizes outstanding senior citizens who have contributed their time and talent to benefit their community after reaching the age of 65.  Nominees must have turned age 70 by June 1, 2015.  They will be honored at the Carlton County Fair at noon Friday, Aug. 14. Official nomination forms are available at Volunteer Services of Carlton County, 199 Chestnut Ave., Ste, 3, Carlton, or call 218-879-9238 to have one mailed.  Return all nomination forms to Volunteer Services at the address listed above, or mail to Volunteer Services of Carlton County, P.O. Box 450, Carlton, MN 55718.  Deadline for submission is Friday, July 31.

Volunteer opportunities through RSVP:

  • Coffee and Visiting/Playing Games— Many older adults would love to have someone come and spend a little time visiting with them or perhaps play a game of cards.  This can take place one-on-one or in a group.  Or, you can even visit via phone from the comfort of your own home.  Time commitment is very flexible and opportunities are available in various settings throughout Carlton County.

  • Enjoy reading? A local assisted living is seeking volunteers to read the local newspaper to residents who can no longer see to read for themselves.

  • Handyman Assistance— Volunteers are needed to assist with various small home maintenance projects.

  • Mowing Lawns —Volunteers are needed to assist with lawn mowing for older adults or chronically disabled individuals.  Lawn mower is provided.

  • North Country R.I.D.E.  is seeking volunteers to assist with their therapeutic riding program.  Volunteers are needed to work with clients and horses.  No horse experience is required for many positions.  

  • Piano or Guitar? Share your gift of music with residents of local assisted living homes.  Time and commitment are very flexible.

  • Reception Desk and Gift Shop — If you enjoy hospitality, please consider sharing some of your time welcoming patients or assisting in the gift shop at a local hospital.

  • Shopping assistance— Looking for volunteers willing to push wheelchair bound adults and assist with shopping in Cloquet.  You can meet at the store.  Commitment is very flexible.

  • Share about your hobby or interest —  A local assisted living is seeking volunteers to come and share about a hobby, special interest, or even their career.  This is a “one-time assignment.”


If interested in volunteering in one of the positions listed above, please call Volunteer Services at 218-879-9238.

Cathy Niemi is the director of the Aitkin-Carlton County Retired Senior Volunteer Program, operated through Volunteer Services of Carlton County, Inc. She can be contacted at 218-879-9238.