Project Pinwheel

A note about COVID-19

Due to COVID-19 and the ongoing need to practice precautions, some of the recommendations for ways to help and connect with others listed on this page are not safe and should be avoided at this time—especially those that call for close contact with others. However, many of the strategies listed here are still possible!

You can continue to look for ways to connect with others by phone, video, or from a safe distance. Sharing connection, support, sympathy and encouragement with parents and children can benefit both them and you.


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What Seniors Can Do


Life experience is worth a lot.


As a senior, the value of your knowledge is immeasurable. You may be a parent or perhaps a grandparent. Or maybe you’ve been a mentor, teacher or friend to those younger than you. Your support can help others flourish—academically, in the workplace, and in your community.
Listen and Connect

Listen and Connect

Parenting is often difficult and asking for help can be hard. Showing support for a parent you know can be as straightforward as offering a sympathetic ear and a helping hand. Asking, “how can I help?” and “what do you need?” can go a long way.

You can be the one that a child who is being abused will talk to. If you are concerned about a child, learn how to recognize signs of abuse and how to respond at One with Courage, a campaign developed by Children’s Advocacy Centers of Texas.

Help

Help

Get to know your neighbors and offer to help when you can.

  • Establish a relationship with the parents and children living near you and let them know you are there for them. Once you know a family, offer to babysit so that parents can enjoy a night off.
  • Alternatively, you can offer to fill in for a friend or neighbor if they can’t attend a child’s sports event or school play.

If you need help, there are resources for you, too.

  • If you or another senior you know is raising grandchildren or other children, you can get in touch with a Kinship Navigator who can recommend resources for childcare, financial help and counseling.
  • Kinship care programs like the local program offered by Frontier Behavioral Health can connect individuals with other caregivers who may be going through the same processes and struggles.
Participate

Participate

There are many organizations in our community that need many different types of support (as well as volunteers of all ages). Here are a few examples:

  • Foster grandparent programs are a great way to engage with young people. You can also be a great help to a mom or dad in a family you know by offering nonjudgmental support.
  • Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) matches people 55 and older with meaningful year-round volunteer experiences that support community-wide needs.
  • Be a powerful voice for kids who have experienced abuse or neglect by volunteering with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) of Spokane County. They provide the training, you provide the caring support.
  • If you live in the city of Spokane, join your neighborhood council. All 27 neighborhoods have them—find yours here.
  • Find out how you can mentor kids in your community through Communities in Schools (CIS) or Big Brothers, Big Sisters. CIS supports students who may be at risk of dropping out of school. By joining, you can be part of a community of parents, staff and adults who support students.
  • Knit infant hats, blankets, or bibs for new babies in the Spokane area. You can donate them to Vanessa Behan, a non-profit organization that assists families.
  • Help families in need by donating items to your favorite charities. For example, donate groceries to a 2nd Harvest food bank, or donate items for babies and children, like diapers, clothes, gently used books or toys, to organizations like Vanessa Behan.

If none of these options seem like a fit for you, learn about other opportunities on Volunteer Spokane.

Learn

Learn

Sometimes we’re faced with situations that we don’t know how to address, and it can be hard to know how to support an individual experiencing abuse, neglect or domestic violence. Learn about this at Lutheran Community Services or the YWCA. You can also call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1.800.799.7233 to get more information. The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN) also has a National Sexual Assault Hotline that you can call 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 800.656.HOPE (4673).