TULSA, Okla. — It's the first graduating class for Give 5.
This is a civic matchmaking program that allows retired seniors who are interested in giving back to the community an opportunity to find the perfect nonprofit.
"There's a huge spectrum of opportunities out there and it can be intimidating sitting at home knowing where to go and how to plug in," said Eileen Bradshaw, President and CEO of Life Senior Services. "So this gives them an overview before they get committed."
Bradford discovered "Give 5" in Springfield, Missouri, and decided it was something Tulsa needs. The program asks people to meet once a week for five weeks to learn about the community and tour nonprofits.
"They would come in in the morning, they'd learn a little bit about the community, some challenges, some opportunities, and in the afternoon they all get on a bus and they go visit non-profits that could use their help as volunteers," Bradford said.
Then graduates donate at least five hours a month to a nonprofit that fits their interests. There are 18 seniors in this first graduating class.
"These are 18 passionate, engaged, smart, funny seniors who are really looking to get plugged in," Bradford said.
Seniors like Rob Lane say he was lucky to find this program.
"I retired on a Thursday and the following Tuesday I was in the first class for Give 5," Lane said. "And it's been amazing."
Lane says the number of nonprofits needing help is mind-boggling.
"There were so many nonprofits I've never heard of," he said.
From being an Ambassador at the Tulsa International Airport or helping children at Emergency Infant Services to volunteering at the Food Bank, Reading Partners, or Coffee Bunker, there's something for everyone.
"If people love babies, there's an opportunity. If they love puppies, there's an opportunity. If they love veterans, there's an opportunity" Lane said.
If you're interested in the "Give 5" program, the next class starts in January. Please call Life Senior Services at 918-664-9000 ext. 1231 for more information.