What Do Volunteers Do?
At Charles E. Smith Life Communities we welcome and appreciate your interest in volunteering. Please download a Volunteer Packet; this contains application instructions, forms, and other important information.
Charles E. Smith Life Communities offers a variety of volunteer opportunities, both on weekdays and weekends. Below is a brief summary of current options.
Friendly Visitor Program: Volunteers are invited to visit with residents. They will be assigned to a unit/building at times that are convenient to them. This is ideal for those who don’t have a set schedule of free time. Hours are flexible.
On-site Transport Program: We always welcome volunteers who can help residents navigate to and from activities throughout the day, whether on the individual units, in the social hall, or outside. This may involve pushing wheelchairs and sometimes staying at the program to assist or have a conversation. Weather permitting, you may be asked to escort residents outside to enjoy the day.
We have beauty parlors on campus and residents can make appointments at their convenience. Assistance is often needed to bring residents to and from their appointments and sometimes to programming events afterward.
Recreation Therapy Team Program: Our recreation team organizes many activities throughout the week. Therapists are happy to have volunteers help with crafts, games, etc... Recommended availability is 10:00 a.m. to Noon or 1:30 to 4:30 p.m.
Performers: If you perform magic, play a musical instrument, sing, dance or would like to perform a play, we would be delighted to have you work with our recreation team to determine a date that works for you.
Assist on a trip: We're grateful for your help on shopping or cultural activity trips. Trips are planned throughout the year by the Recreation Therapy Department. Often, volunteers can assist residents in wheelchairs and accompany them on the bus ride. (Volunteers may not drive residents in their cars). Trips occur Monday through Friday, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
Internships with the rehabilitation team (limited number available): Students in rehabilitation programs can assist in the Dekelboum Therapy Suite at the Post-Acute Care Center. Limited opportunities are available and those interested should indicate this on their volunteer application.
Dining Room Assistance: Escort residents to their dining room; return residents to the nursing station. This need occurs at meal times only: 11:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 4:30 to 6:00 p.m.
Manicurist: Provide manicures and hand massages for residents. Recreation Therapy has all necessary supplies (files, polish, lotion). Volunteers may not cut nails or cuticles and must wear gloves during this activity.
Translation Assistance: Do you speak a language other than English? We often have the need for translation assistance for residents.
Pastoral Care Program: Escort residents to and from religious services. Jewish services take place twice a day, Monday through Friday, at 9:30 a.m. and again at 3:30 p.m. Volunteers are also needed Saturday mornings from 8:45 to 11:30 a.m. Christian services occur 2x/month on Sundays from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m. Volunteers help residents hold the service books and turn pages.
Gardeners Program: Provide resident assistance with recreational gardening in one of several garden areas located on campus. This is seasonal and as needed only.
Adopt-A-Grandparent Program: Volunteers will be assigned to a resident and expected to visit on a regular basis to chat, read, or play games.
Holiday Volunteers: Volunteers are needed on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Christmas, Easter, and Passover. If you are interested and available, please let us know. We will contact you in advance with schedule information and details.
Patient Services Representative: Greet and welcome new residents and administer a brief survey. These surveys help us understand the needs of the residents and what we can do to offer them superior service. Please note that there is specific training for this program and use of an iPad (which is provided) is required. Preferred hours are Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Administrative Assistance: Various departments will, at times, have a need for administrative help in the following areas:
- Answer phones
- Write thank-you notes to acknowledge donations
- Data entry
Pet Therapy: For individuals who have a dog certified to perform pet therapy, contact us about visits. If your pooch is not certified, please go to www.peopleanimalslove.org. This organization offers necessary information about certifying your pets for specifically therapeutic visits with residents.
If you are interested in becoming a member of the volunteer team, please complete the volunteer packet. And, feel free to email us or call 301.770.8333 if you have any questions.