Tuesday, October 25, 2011

ReServe: How to stay connected to community

Contributed by Luke Soto

Hey Everyone!

I work here at Catalyst Miami for a program called ReServe Miami.  ReServe takes 55 and older retirees (ReServists) and connects them with part-time job opportunities at local nonprofits that need the help of an experienced professional.  At the same time, the ReServists get to stay in touch with the needs of Miami and the communities therein. 

 You may be asking yourself why a recently retired professional would not only want to continue to work but do so for part-time pay. We are coming to a new era where what it means to be a retiree is
very different from what it meant before.  Every day there are on average 7,000 baby boomers reaching retirement age. This generation of retirees does not conform to the prior mold of what a retiree is “supposed” to do in society for many reasons. Some are economic concerns but for the most part, this generation has been at the head of some of the most important movements and events in American history (Civil Rights, Wood Stock, Cold War). As such, I highly doubt they would be content to just sit back and ignore the current events happening around them for 20 or so years just because it’s the status quo. These people don’t want to sit back and knit scarves, they don’t want to spend all day golfing, and they most certainly don’t want to be sitting in a retirement community playing bingo.

So what does this mean for the services that we provide for these people in America? Are we adequately prepared for this influx of socially active Boomers? I do not think we are prepared. That being the case, I strongly believe in what ReServe Miami is doing for this Boomer generation and this city. Not being a Boomer myself, I’ll let Vicki tell you her experience with ReServe.

Becoming a ReServist is the best thing I’ve done for myself since I retired from the retail business a few months ago!   Though I had been thrilled to have more time to myself to visit family and just kick back, I was beginning to worry about disconnecting from my community and just getting “stale.”  A friend told me about ReServe and it sounded like a perfect fit.  I’m currently working a few days a week as a ReServist and I love it!  I’m meeting new people, learning new skills and growing more passionate about this program each day.  ReServe is a win-win for the community and it certainly has worked for me, too!
Vicki Simons
ReServe Miami

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