Seniors With Inquiring Minds (SWIM), is a High Desert group for learning in retirement. Members volunteer over 300 hours per month for various local charity and community organizations.
At the March 24 SWIM meeting, the group’s president, Delia Itanen, presented a timeline Power Point Presentation on Volunteerism in America, including Ben Franklin, who started the first all volunteer fire house, to the founding of the, USO, the Red Cross and today’s outreach groups.
Itanen interviewed group members to find out where they volunteer, why, and hours per month.
Shelly Alfieri gives 75 hours a month to disaster prep and amatuer radio groups. Joan Alfieri creates scrapbooks for children. Pat Bridges gives about 25 hours per month to the Apple Valley Library, taking care of books and tutoring. Sam bridges also works in the Apple Valley Library, and during the summer spends 30 to 50 hours per month in the Squash 4 Friends charity gardens.
Beverly Dudley, a long-time High Desert volunteer, still gives about 25 hours per month to Victor Valley College, Victorville Women’s Club and to several Old Town and Route 66 committees.
Shirley Irby donates about 25 hours teaching ESL, working in a food bank and with special needs individuals. Delia Itanen and Marie Schmidt, each spend about 14 hours per month in the Assistance League of Victor Valley Thrift Shop. Delia also is volunteer webmaster for the Assistance League’s website.
Verna McIntyre, a winter Apple Valley resident from Canada gives 10 to 15 hours at Apple Valley Library and Cactus Wren Garden club.
Margie Simpson donates 30 hours per month to Victor Valley Community Services Council, Apple Valley Christian Care Center and A Better Way domestic violence program. Ruth Fowler, Ruby Baker, and others volunteer at the High Center for the Arts. Other SWIM members also volunteer regularly.
Asked “why?,” they all say the same thing. They love what they do, and will keep on doing it as long as they can. The tally of hours donated added up to 300 hours per month. That’s is 3600 hours per year. That’s how seniors age 60-90 stay young.
SWIM meets weekly at Trinity Lutheran Church. Guests are always welcome. Enjoy snacks, coffee and time to share with friends. For more information, contact Jean at (949) 244 3215 or Leah at (760) 956 7581.
Photo attached. SWIM volunteers.
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