What would an early 50's man with MS like to volunteer for?
August 16, 2012 5:54 PM   Subscribe

What would an early 50's man with MS like to volunteer for?

My father is affected by MS. He is unable to stand for long periods or walk long distances. He also gets fatigued sooner than the rest of us.

He is an engineer by trade, helps out with media at his small church, and is looking for a way to meet an interact with a consistent community of people (preferably beyond his small church and workplace).

He likes things that benefit kids and MS survivors and who knows what else.
posted by jander03 to Society & Culture (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
He could be one of those voting booth people in the next election.
posted by bq at 6:03 PM on August 16, 2012

How about volunteering at a hospital (maybe at the reception desk, to avoid standing or other strenuous activity?) The older volunteers at hospitals tend to be very chummy.

Or if he lives near an airport, taking some shifts at the Traveler's Aid desk?

His engineering background could be very valuable to a middle school robotics team if there's one in the area-- or he could start one!
posted by charmcityblues at 6:09 PM on August 16, 2012

[PREFACE: I work in the IT dept for the Greater Delaware Valley chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis. I love where I work, I also happen to be an avid follower of AskMeFi.]

Where is your father located? The national MS society has chapters all over the country. Depending on the needs of your father's local chapter, there may or may not be a need for his technical skills.

While it is not glamourous, there is a ton of data entry that our volunteers help with. This is a crucial part of what we do. There could also be opportunities to help with other computer related tasks, such as graphic design.

Heck, since all our systems or web based, he could volunteer for me and my chapter and work from home doing data entry... but I digress. :)

Every chapter of the MS Society always needs basic office support volunteers. Stuffing envelopes and things like that.

But most importantly, the MS Society puts on fundraising events all year long. It is what keeps us going in our mission. There are plenty of event volunteer positions where he could sit while he fulfilled his volunteer duties.

In regards to meeting like minded people, the MS society has a variety of support systems in place for people with MS to mingle. I can not speak for all chapters because I would not know the specifics of what his local chapter would offer.

Feel free to message me if you want to know more, but I think he should use this page to find his local chapter of the MS Society:
posted by remthewanderer at 6:10 PM on August 16, 2012 [4 favorites]

Phone bank work.. for a local or national election campaign or fundraising for a cause (like MS) that is important to him.

Helping in a school science class could be excellent!
posted by Heart_on_Sleeve at 8:23 PM on August 16, 2012

Seconding Heart_on_Sleeve, at least here in Phoenix, there is a big push for STEM: science, technology, engineering and math. There are after school clubs, field trips, guest speakers and programs during the school day for students of all ages. Even if he volunteered for a few hours a week, I can't imagine a school wouldn't appreciate his time.
posted by lemonwheel at 9:18 PM on August 16, 2012

Thanks for the great suggestions! I eagerly mentioned MS volunteer opportunities to my dad to discover that he would prefer to be reminded of his condition as little as possible.

Perhaps finding a STEM school in need of tutoring would be better... We'll keep looking.
posted by jander03 at 9:52 PM on November 5, 2012

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