A Community of Volunteers

“This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”

-Theodore Roosevelt

Santa Fe has a number of volunteer organizations that help seniors. Following are some of the groups providing opportunities for volunteers and services for seniors:

  • Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) FGP offers seniors age 55 and over opportunities to serve as mentors, tutors and caregivers for children and youth with special/exceptional needs. Foster Grandparents provide 20 hours of service weekly to community organizations such as schools and Head Starts, offering emotional support to children who have been abused and/or neglected, and assisting children with physical disabilities. Income-eligible Foster Grandparents receive modest tax-free stipends, reimbursement for transportation, meals during service, annual physical examinations, and free supplemental insurance while on duty.

For more information contact Melanie Montoya at (505) 955-4761 or Romella Glorioso-Moss at (505) 955-4744. Website

  • Retired Seniors Volunteer Program RSVP provides seniors age 55 and over with a wide variety of engaging volunteer opportunties that aim to meet vital community needs. The program recruits, matches and supports volunteers through a free supplemental insurance program, provides access to conferences and trainings, hosts volunteer appreciation and social events, and distributes recognition and "thank you" gifts. Volunteer hours vary depending on the opportunity, which may include: food distributions/pantries, consumer/benefits counseling, mentoring/tutoring, hospital and hospice services, emergency preparedness, senior center activities, environmental work, one-day events and more. Visit our website.


“Old age, to the unlearned, is winter; to the learned, is harvest time.”

-Unknown

  • Senior Companion Program (SCP) SCP offers seniors age 55 and over opportunities to serve as companions and/or caregivers for lonely/isolated/frail homebound elderly and offer emotional support to seniors with disabilities, who are lonely, or who have been neglected or abused. Income-eligible Senior Companions receive modest tax-free stipends, reimbursement for transportation, meals during service, annual physical examinations and free supplemental insurance while on duty. State Website.

For more information contact Melanie Montoya at (505) 955-4761 or Romella Glorioso-Moss at (505) 955-4744. Email: mmmontoya@santafenm.gov or rsglorioso-moss@santafenm.gov

“Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.”

-Robert Louis Stevenson

  • Create the Good - AARP Local volunteer opportunities. website
  • Coming Home Connection - Home Care with Heart For over ten years Coming Home Connection has been serving the people of Santa Fe and its surrounds with skilled and heartful in-home care. Our unique non-profit model offers affordable in-home care from trained and vetted private caregivers to those who can afford to pay something, without the additional cost of an agency fee, and each caregiver offers volunteer time to provide free services to those most in need in our community. Website Equipment Loans CHC offers a free service, loaning out medical equipment such as wheel chairs, transfer chairs, walkers, disposable underwear, surgical gloves and other items when they no longer need them. This service relies on donations of equipment from former clients and the public, so we cannot guarantee what’s available, but each year we loan, or in the case of disposable products give away, hundreds of items. All services start with a call to the office: (505) 988 2468.


“And in the end it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.”

-Abraham Lincoln


  • PMS Hospice Santa Fe Hospice services in Santa Fe County help patients make the most of every day of their lives. Managed by Presbyterian Medical Services, a nonprofit organization, The Hospice Center provides personalized, expert care for all of our patients. Website
  • Aging and Disability Resource Center ADRC The ADRC is here to assist elders, persons with disabilities and caregivers to find services and resources to help them live well and independently. State Website.
  • Benefits Counseling at Aging and Long Term Services includes volunteer opportunities with State Health Insurance Program (SHIP) answering questions about Medicare and Medicaid. They can provide you with accurate, unbiased and current information. Click here to read our Benefits Counseling Desk Reference.


“When you cease to make a contribution you begin to die.”

-Eleanor Roosevelt


  • City of Santa Fe In Home Support Services: Respite Care, Homemaker A home assessment must be done to determine eligibility for in-home support services. Family Caregiver Support Assistance. Education, emotional support and guidance sessions are offered to caregivers dealing with the stress associated with providing specialized care. We also offer, on a limited basis, supplemental assistance and/or equipment such as wheelchairs, walkers, grab bars, shower/tub chairs, canes, etc. to qualifying participants. Home Management This program provides assistance with minor housekeeping and light chores (mopping, sweeping, dusting, washing dishes, laundry, ironing, etc.), light meal preparation, assisting with errands, grocery shopping, medical appointments, etc. for frail, homebound elderly. Respite Care Program This program provides relief to primary caregivers of individuals diagnosed with dementia-related disorders, thus enabling the caregiver a break from the stress and the special care needs required of those individuals. This service provides companionship, maintaining a clean and safe environment, minor meal preparation, and memory exercises. Contact Information: Theresa Trujillo, Program Supervisor, P: (505) 955-4745, E: tptrujillo@santafenm.gov . Website.


Life is and we do not have too much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us, so be swift to love and make haste to be kind.”

-Henri-Frederic Amiel


Other Sources and Ideas for providing and giving service

  • JustServe.org is a website where the volunteer needs of organizations may be posted and volunteers may search for places to serve in the community, providing opportunities to help those in need and enhance the quality of life in the community.
  • ElderHelpers.org is a website. We believe that compassion at its finest is free. Volunteers register to offer their services based on their true desire to help elders. The Elder Helpers program strives to safely and conveniently connect these dedicated, passionate volunteers with elders in their local communities.


“The more you learn what to do with yourself, and the more you do for others, the more you will enjoy the abundant life.”

-William J.H. Boetcker


  • Dorot University Without Wall Programs allow older adults to take a class simply by calling in. Topics ranging from finance, travel, health, art, politics, and are usually offered by an organization and led by a volunteer facilitator. Group lectures and discussion allow for older adults to be heard, socialize and continue in the shared goal of life-long learning. The aim of the telephone conversations is to provide meaningful conversations, friendships and reduce social isolation. Volunteer group facilitators prepare and lead group classes from their home or office. Website Note that Dorot has some amazing programing best practices.
  • DoSomething.org youth participate in several campaigns giving them plenty of opportunities to help the elderly and others. Some campaigns offer the chance at scholarships and other gifts simply for completing the do good task and then posting photos of how they helped the campaign. The organization makes it easy for youth to participate in simple ways that make a big difference to elderly in their communities. Website

Some of the ways to help elderly include:

Glamorous Grannies – manicures for older adults in senior living communities.

Senior Stories Swap – exchange stories with a senior.

Seniorpalooza – organize a concert for seniors.

Love Letters Challenge – prepare Valentines Day cards and distribute through participating Meals on Wheels locations.

Create a Music Playlist for a Senior – listening to music may reduce feelings of depression and chronic pain.

Help a Senior Learn about Technology- everything for social media, to smartphones, tablets and how to take a selfie. Teenagers can participate in Teniors.com; Teeniors™ are tech-savvy teens and young adults who help seniors learn technology through one-on-one, personal coaching. Whether it's a smartphone, tablet or computer - the goal is to empower seniors to connect with your loved ones and engage with the community through tech, while also providing paid, meaningful jobs to teens and young adults.

Protect Your Parents from Scams - read this article to begin; call the AARP Fraud Fighter Call Center at 800-646-2283 toll-free. Expect a voicemail greeting, but messages are usually returned within 48 hours.


“We do not quit playing because we grow old; we grow old because we quit playing.”

-Oliver Wendell Holmes


  • Programsforelderly.com We Research and List Worldwide Programs that Provide a Better Way to Deal with Aging. Our featured programs help support not only older adults but caregivers, communities, organizations and professionals who interact with seniors. As such we are interested in programs that directly impact seniors along with those that help support seniors such increasing awareness, providing advocacy, and training of professionals who interact with older adults. Website.


“The greatest good fortune for the old is to have projects, to have days filled with useful and interesting work, to never be bored.”

-Helen Nearing


  • Elders in Action We promote the health, resilience and vibrancy of our community by advocating for, educating, and serving older adults through volunteer engagement. We envision a community in which older adults are engaged, connected, safe and valued. Website. Portland based they have also been part of the Age-Friendly Community Assessment, see Age-Friendly Initiative.


“Man cannot really improve himself without improving others.”

-Charles Dickens